“You can’t teach someone how to think! Skills are easy to teach, but teaching intelligence isn’t something that you can do.” This is one of the most common incorrect statements I hear all the time, both in my role as CTO for my MSP and also as an active community member in MSPGeek.
Hi, my name is Mendy Green, and I’ve been a passionate troubleshooter and problem solver for the last 13 years of my life. I didn’t have a lot of success in school, and didn’t attend College after High School. My strongest skillset can arguably be called out as my ability to observe, translate, and communicate back, to the parties involved for the sake of progress. In other words, I’m a middleman. My use of these skills is in the field of IT Support, where I negotiate with the representatives of Software Developers; the computer software itself, and the people who need to use said software. I also rely heavily on the same skills when it comes time to interact with a frustrated End User, or an obstinate Vendor technical support representative, and finally when it comes to dealing with business related challenges. In all of these areas the steps I follow to accomplish all of these tasks are exactly the same.
- Identify the situation, listening to all parties involved
- Make sure the parties all understand that everyone wants the same thing
- Determine the options that will work for everyone involved within their own accepted limits
- Provide the needed missing pieces to bridge the gap between each parties limitations so the situation can be resolved.
It is a well known fact that people learn in different ways, and the mark of a good teacher is one who can connect to the student to give over the material in a way that works best for each individual student. I firmly believe that when it comes to teaching skills like Critical Thinking, Data Analytics, or what some people may incorrectly call Common Sense it is just a matter of reaching out in just the right way so that the student can grasp and adopt the concepts and utilize them in their daily life.
In the coming series of articles I walk through a break down of what Common Sense really is, why stupid people don’t exist, steps and exercises you can do to sharpen your own critical thinking skills, and methods you can use to help your team improve as well.