Matching office techno types

WHILE a taxonomy for techno personalities sounds like a new GST on nerds and geeks, it is actually an emerging classifi-cation system of the most common personality types as they relate to technology. Gone are the cyberhead labels.

Dr Francine Toder, emeritus professor at California State Uni Sacramento, will soon publish her findings from over a decade’s observation on how people relate to technology. Techno personalities, she believes, have evolved from being isolated quirks into universally recognisable reactions.

Taking the 10 most common techno personality traits from Dr Toder’s research and applying them to our local business context, you might identify some of the following types among your workmates.

While identifying the type is obviously helpful for better teamplay, a few humble responses are offered on how to pro-actively deal with each.

Resisters, the most prevalent type, will go to any length to avoid using high-tech devices, including the strategies of denying technology exists or even denying that they exist. Resist the urge to deny their denial. Volubly agree that technology is a waste of time and continue to convert all office processes to a techno format.

Challengers, although less intense than Resisters, still har-bour immense anger, hostility, and resentment toward anything techno, including help desk staff, ATMs, electronic tooth-brushes, and self-serve petrol stations. You might download onto their computer, to pop up during the day, motivational sayings with background music about always looking on the bright side of life.

Technophobes have a pathological fear of technology which no amount of Prozac, or DOS for Dummies, can overcome. Explain that fear is good; the greatest high achievers in history achieved through fear — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Terminator, and so on.

Procrastinators feel com-petent in using technology but use it only for email and sharing the latest adorable photos of the grandkids. Motivate by engag-ing in interactive computer games with Players.

Addicts cannot get enough technology and suffer with-drawal symptoms of twitching mouse-fingers and single focussed eyesight. Have hand held techno gadgets at the ready, to immediately thrust into the twitching hand. Any microchip gadget will do.

Drivers use their addiction to outpace others, in their highly competitive business and personal lives. Distribute a fictitious daily intranet scorecard whereby the Driver never wins.

Players spend an unbelievable time playing computer games, surfing the web, writing emails, and gen-erally clicking their lives away. Pair with the office Pro-crastinator.

Imposters feel rather incompetent in their work and use time at the computer to hopefully create the illusion that they know what they are doing. Program their computer to crash several times a day.

Dreamers believe technology can provide the answer if only we ask the right questions, and are greatly disappointed when neither occurs. Enlist them in the Whispering Whales and Mystical Forests experiential performance chatrooms.

Hermits successfully avoid F2F contact by the extensive and creative use of technology. Congratulate online and home deliver the latest laptop.

n Ann Macbeth is a futurist and executive coach with Annnimac Consultants. She can be reached on 9384 0687 or by email at annimac@

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