So, you were drawn in by the post title!
This is not about vehicle programming, but programming or in some cases, re-programming of the human mind as required to overcome faults in the "firmware" and "software", used in learning and applying knowledge and tangible new skills for the workplace.
It's been discussed "ad nauseum" in various forums, set as posting rules for help requests and more, but we can still be our own worst enemies when it comes to approaching diagnosis. One thing is for sure, that if we are unsuccessful in our methods and we insist on following the same routines, we should expect and be prepared to achieve the same negative results. We seem to be rather reluctant to learn new "tricks". Many of us exhibit a naturally tendency to be resistant to change, even though we may openly desire it! Something must however, change for any of us to achieve, or at least have a reasonable chance of striving to achieve our goals.
So, what is a technician to do? Well, there is a mentality that if the "boss" isn't paying for the training and paying wages, expenses and more for a technician to attend, then the technician becomes resistant to participating. However, who is really short-changed in the scenario? The technician of course.
I'm sure that the shop owner or management has many considerations of the Cost Of Doing Business (CODB) in mind and Return On Investment (ROI) potential for sending technicians to training. Technician loyalty and retention after training are also things to be mindful of. However, for the technician who truly wishes to make advances in their career, investment in themselves to upgrade or learn new skills, may just provide opportunities and open new doors leading to that dream job. There is always a cost for learning, regardless of who pays. Do consider, that skills are "portable" and a short term investment in oneself may reap long term benefits that may not be readily apparent when mulling over the "WIIFM?"
I was very fortunate to have many training opportunities throughout my career as a technician, that now continue as ongoing requirements as an instructor. Even so, I sought out and am continually interested in other avenues of learning, that I am wholly responsible for.
I certainly didn't need to join any networks or groups to be able to perform my role as a technician, yet I found daily participation beneficial and still do. I have an analytical mindset that needs regular exercise to remain healthy and participating in various groups and committees serves to fulfill some of these needs. Giving back never hurts either.
So, without some form of training, whether it be employer-driven or self-directed, the chances are that we as technicians and educators may not fully achieve our desired goals, but have a tendency to stagnate as the world goes by. As aforementioned above, repeating the same mistakes in diagnostic methods, is a sure way to be consistent in achieving less than desirable outcomes. In such situations, unless we are willing to change our mindset, we cannot expect to achieve our desires to advance in the workplace.
The ultimate computer is the human brain. It is incredibly fast and needs no analog to digital conversion of information to rapidly arrive at an output. It is able to assess situations and arrive at decisions without resorting to calculating binary 0 and 1 values.
So, where we often get hung up is in making poor choices, or refraining from making any choices at all. A little brain "re-programming" can do wonders for our self esteem and ability to function at an improved level in the workplace. So, let's "Train the Brain" here employing Diagnostic Network as a supplemental forum for learning, rather than "silver bullet" seeking.
How can we achieve this desire? Well, provided that we are receptive, of positive mindset and open to learning, re-programming our brains can be as easy as successfully completing an online training course or a hands-on course. It might however, result from some form of networking here with others, from whom we may learn, or at least re-train our brains to assess problems from a different perspective than the one that isn't working. It may take a little "re-wiring", but working together in a positive rather than poisonous environment, can benefit us all, if we so desire.
I know many who lurk in various online forums, are a bit shy or reserved who have much to contribute and who might benefit far more from participation in discussions rather than observations only.
For many years iATN in particular, served as and continues to provide an excellent source of learning from some great minds. I can foresee great opportunities within Diagnostic Network to trim the focus slightly to shed undesired "baggage" and harness the energy of those willing members who are serious about their own learning needs and are willing contributors and participants in posts. Whether sharing technology advancement through informational awareness, or thought-provoking diagnostics where the brain is challenged, there are times when we humans need to step out of our comfort zone in order to learn, whether it be about a challenging new concept or a diagnostic procedure. We can learn, but we need to want to learn through self-empowerment. No employer can prevent me from wanting to learn and achieve my personal goals, but I do see many who are inhibited because they are hung up on "who pays?" One thing is for sure, if I don't think that I need to or am able to learn, in this day and age, I will be left behind. A few weeks ago, I was instructing a two day technician certification course, which comprises approximately 1.5 days of demonstration of instructor-led demonstration and student participation, followed by certification activities of the final 1/2 day. That consists of six station-based exercises at vehicles, work benches and paper information research, to prove that the student has learned and can demonstrate the newly-learned skills.
This was the first instance in fifteen years of instruction where a student "bailed" on a course. The fellow came to me and confided that he was simply so far out of his comfort zone and had become so anxious that he couldn't even tell me his name!
Now, this was his first time in a certification course and while I offered to coach him through towards completion (he'd still have to do the work), he simply just couldn't and was not willing to continue. He confessed to being more comfortable about facing his manager who "will have a bird", than completing the certification under any circumstances.
He told me that he was too old to learn, since he was 56 years old. "Hmm, that's not much of an excuse, I'm almost 66 years old", was my reply. "But, you've been doing this forever...." Such is the human mindset, rapidly able to provide excuses, when it becomes resistant to learning and inhibits success. An open mind, positive attitude and learning potential, goes a long way towards a successful "reprogramming" event of the human mind! Unfortunately, the individual in question was self-limiting in potential, had a closed mind and a negative attitude.
So, here we are, in a new group setting, with renewed enthusiasm and learning opportunities for the taking. The sky is the limit! Where do you want to "fly" today?
Hello Martin! A good read, attitude is everything! I used to tell technicians the statement attributed to Henry Ford - "Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right." At the bottom of your post I saw a +3 with an up and down arrow straddling it. I thought it was for possible replies so I tried 1 "down". That did nothing so I tried 1 "up". This is my first foray into this site and I think this might be a rating thing so I left it at 1 "up". Thanks for the read. Ward
You threw that line and i bit. But couldn't stop reading Thanks for making my morning a better start
Great post Martin. A positive attitude and willingness to take a risk are important attributes in this business. Over the years I have found that many techs that don't want to attend training or don't want to take tests etc. are fundamentally afraid to look bad or feel inadequate. That is something that they need to get past and realize that finding out what you don't know is an important step in building your knowledge.
I remember when I first started working in a garage I had little knowledge compared to the old timers in the shop. I knew I needed to learn what I could from them. Then after a couple years when I started to fix things on my own I started to get cocky and at one point in my career I started to think I knew it all. Then as more time past, I got my a__ kicked on some jobs and really got humbled. I realized I didn't know as much as I thought I knew. I also spent a few years at some dealerships and had the fortune to work with some REALLY smart guys. Another humbling experience but it showed me that there was always another level that could be attained.
Now I'm at that point where the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. The technology in this industry is changing so fast today that it takes a lot of effort to just keep up. I'm looking forward to this network becoming something similar to what iatn was in it's early years. A place where professional technicians can discuss and dissect all the new technologies, compare diagnostic strategies and methods and raise our skills to the next level.
At various times over the years I feel I have stagnated a bit due to factors inside and outside of work demanding more and more of my time and energy. However, I am eager to jump start my diagnostic skills and learning again. As I get older I need to work smarter instead of harder and I need to change my business model away from mechanical and focus solely on diagnostics and programing. Information and networking will be critical as I move forward with this so I am really pleased to be here on the "Diagnostic Network" and looking forward to more learning.