“‘Mistakes’ is the word you’re too embarrassed to use. You ought not to be. You’re a product of a trillion of them. Evolution forged the entirety of sentient life on this planet using one tool – the mistake.”
– Dr. Robert Ford “Westworld”
I started out in technical support back in 1997 and I am here today because of the time that others took to help me along the way. Over the past year, I have been working hard to step up my efforts to hopefully do the same for others. Thanks to a program at work I really got to dive into what it means to coach someone in the workplace. Sometimes for technical people, it’s easier to just do it for someone when they ask for help. Yet, while it may be easier and faster it provides no benefit to the other person.
So that being said, this might be a rambling mess, but, I’ll do my best.
So how do you start? You listen. One thing I think that many of us are guilty of sometimes in conversation is that we are just waiting for the other person to stop talking so we can. It is an amazing thing that when you’re describing your problem to someone, seeking their help, that it’s obvious there really paying attention.
Next? Don’t do it for them, don’t give them the full answer. They are not going to learn anything if you give them the full answer. Instead, trust in that you’re working with clever, intelligent people who just need a pointer.
Going back to someone listening. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come up with the solution myself just having someone listen to me. Three quarters through my rambling I often suddenly stop and go, “Wait a minute, I think I figured it out.” I thank them for their time and they often wonder what it is they did. Verbalizing your problem is an amazing way to find a solution.
That’s all for now. More rambling later.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
— Mr. Rogers
At my office, there is the legend of the Transit Cube. Said to have been built by a master QA architect a long time ago.
My favorite place in the world. When I was younger my parents had a popcorn shop in the Quay and through fate, I managed to make my way back here again.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist
— George Carlin