Saturday, August 24, 2013

You Can Fix Your Computer! (part II)

I recently posted a helpful graphic for fixing your own computer.

I admit, I'm geeky, and I love technology, and people often comment on my supposed ability to magically solve their computer problems.

It actually happened in a meeting last week--tech problems for the presenter, and I knew what the issue was. So I "wave my hand over the spot" and it magically works, and everyone applauds. A friend said afterward he thinks I'm a cyborg.

I really do like to help people out with their tech woes, but one of my shortcomings when I used to serve as a Technology Coordinator was that I was too quick to just do things for people. It would have been better if I would have taken the time to teach them how to solve problems themselves.

My secret is, I'm not afraid to just try stuff. And then, when I find a solution, I try to remember it.

Not sure what I mean? Here's a great flowchart that might help explain my approach...

Image from xkcd [CC BY-NC 2.5]

And now you can fix your own computer problems too! Don't be afraid to try it at least... :-)


  1. Good post Dave! Teaching folks to resolve their own problems is an investment. It can take time and patience, but it does pay dividends. Some folks, for various reasons, resist resolving their own problems. It takes a conscious effort, but often the best approach is to play the role of "safety net" or "training wheels." You have to sit back and resist the urge to "fix it" for them. You need to also be aware of when they start getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Often, they really can fix things for themselves, they just don't realize how much they actually know and lack the empowering self-confidence they're entitled to.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Rich! I like your analogies--training wheels sounds just right. It's really a lot like teaching kids: you can choose to just tell them, or you can choose to guide them into figuring it out for themselves. Which is more valuable? I'm feeling like the latter.