When I was growing up, my dad was Mr. Fix-It.  Not one of those guys you see on reality shows who don’t know what they’re doing, but a guy who could do just about anything.  Whether it’s plumbing, electrical, or just fixing a squeaky screen door, my dad continues to take great care of my parents’ home, and he’s in his seventies now.  He even installed an underground watering system in both the front and back yards, and is able to explain how to take care of it in a way that I understand…

I feel very blessed to have grown up in a family where we were allowed to ask questions.  I used to sit on a tall stool when my dad was in his workshop, watching as he worked, asking questions and getting answers that allowed me to keep learning!

Barry Quirt in his workshop, Computer Tutoring OttawaWhen you need to know how to do something, the easiest way to find a solution is to ask someone for help.  Ideally, the person you’ve asked will take the time to show you how…

For me, I like to learn through hands-on experience.  I like to do things myself, so that my mind connects with my body as I complete the task, and then the entire process becomes anchored in my own experience.

More often than not, I hear from my clients about circumstances that are far less helpful. When they have questions, they ask a friend or family member, but they often don’t get what they need.

Many of the stories I hear have the helpers actually doing the tasks, instead of showing my clients HOW to do it.  I guess it’s easier and faster that way, but it does nothing to help anyone learn.  All it does is leave them dependent on someone else to get things done, because they never have a chance to try and do it on their own.

In workshops, I use a presentation of pictures to teach.  Clients see the images, connect them to the task we’re discussing, and then practice through hands-on experience.  I’ve run a number of workshops, and the feedback I get is usually quite positive.

hands-off-symbolWhen I teach lessons one-on-one, I won’t touch the mouse of my client, because I don’t believe they’ll learn as well if I do the task for them.  I will guide them with my words, and describe to them what part of the screen they’re looking for, or which button to use on the mouse, but I won’t do it for them.  My goal is to help them learn to do it for themselves, and my methods are very effective!

If you happen to know someone who comes to you for help, take a moment before offering to do it for them, and consider asking them exactly what they need. Perhaps it’ll take a few extra minutes, but if you take the time to let them learn, they will really appreciate the lesson.  Plus, there’s a good chance that they’ll ask less of you as they learn more about what they can do for themselves!