Friday, June 18, 2010
Be a Problem solver
Have you ever known someone that excels in finding the cloud behind the silver lining? Some people have a knack for finding the negative to any set of circumstances. Sometimes students can get the impression that a service technician’s job is to find problems. But in truth, the technician’s job is to solve problems. Yes, you have to identify a problem to solve it, but solving the problem is the goal. Customers and employers are more impressed by people that find solutions than people that find problems. Most people already have more than enough problems, so the last person they want around is someone who generates more problems than solutions. On the other hand, people that excel in finding solutions are a joy to have around. Encourage your students to offer solutions to the problems they find. They need to become practiced in providing solutions, not just identifying problems. This can sometimes be a matter of attitude. Rather than finding reasons why something cannot be accomplished, look for ways to overcome the barriers to get the job done. This attitude should start with the way you interact with your students. Make sure to recognize what they do correctly, and not simply point out their errors. Of course you need to correct their errors, but it should be done constructively, not destructively. Always offer a better way when correcting students who are struggling. The student who is trying to glob on solder that is balling up and falling off really does not have to be told that what he is doing is not working; he can see it for himself. What he needs is someone to offer a better way. Students who gain skills after struggling at first appreciate the accomplishment more. You can teach more than any particular skill when you help a student overcome a learning barrier, you teach them how to be a problem solver.