Ever since this blog started to post Salesforce tips, I have encountered many people such as admins, users, and managers who utilize certain schemas rather than learning the skills their positions call for. They use a specific set of tricks and actions that work well enough in order to ensure that they survive in their positions, instead of learning the skills and knowledge required for the platform of their profession. Here’s a story a friend of mine told me yesterday: Emili is a social worker, who works with groups of single mothers. She arranges lectures, searches for available clinics, and schedules therapy sessions for those in need. Last week, she told me how she brought in two successful “problem solving gurus” who led a session on how to solve interpersonal conflicts through interpretation of communicative signs. After the first meeting, one of the attendants told her that she felt the “gurus” were too hard on her, and that they weren’t actually listening to what she was saying. Instead, they were guiding her toward the direction they wanted the clinic to go. My friend told her she bring it up in the next clinic meeting, and that’s exactly what she did… To everyone’s amazement, the problem solving gurus stood there baffled when confronted. They attempted to defend their inability to respond to the case, and deflected it onto the woman. The other women responded angrily and a heated argument broke out. In the end my friend who had hired these “gurus” had to put an end to it. “How can you handle this issue in such a negative way?” She asked. “Your specialty is SOLVING INTERPERSONAL CONFLICTS THROUGH COMMUNICATION!” And she was right. A professional should be able to take this unpredictable turn of events and use it to prove their methods in problem solving successful. Instead, these so called “gurus” froze in their place, and blamed others for derailing the clinic. Later on, when my friend asked them to explain what had happened, they confessed to her that over the years (we’re talking 50-something year old self-proclaimed-therapists!) they had relied on one certain schema. They used a single method to run the clinic, which required almost no knowledge of the subject except for a couple of pre-planned scenarios. They had simply stuck to one formula when they saw that it worked. That is one crazy story, isn’t it? The truth is that it’s not an uncommon scenario. Even in our line of work, many people choose to stick to what works for them, and impose that method on everything, instead of taking the time to learn their specific platform. In CRM and Salesforce in particular, knowing the platform is a must. As admins, we often run into unpredictable issues that require creative thinking, which cannot come from someone who isn’t fully proficient in Salesforce. Yes, that means looking for awesome Salesforce tips and tricks, but it also means spending time training yourself in Salesforce. Even after your 4X certification, reading articles, learning to customize, and learning to code… the sky is the limit. To help you with this, I’m working on a special post for next week- a list of my favorite Salesforce bloggers! It’ll feature blogs for both admins and developers. Be sure to check it out.    
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.