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How to solve a problem -or- How to communicate

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  • How to solve a problem -or- How to communicate

    Recently I have noticed how poorly folks communicate!
    You can recognize this defect reading posts under any forum.

    I just hope you [plural] speak better in person than the way you write!

    OK, let's not get hostile I'm going to provide you some "concepts" in problem solving and communicating!

    1. Calm down before posting anything and be sure to stop the bleeding as blood and keyboards do not play well.


    The time then comes to ask for advice/help with the challenge you have with a tool.

    1. There are no givens within your post. We are not in your work shop. We are not able to visually or audibly experience your problem. We have no clue on your [honest] skill level and competence with tools.

    2. Yes you're pissed but don't take it out on those trying to help.

    Problem solving steps:

    1. Define the problem in detail! Just saying it's noisy, rattles, doesn't work [for those not knowing proper English you'd say " IT DON'T WORK"] does not provide any information other than you're mad!

    2. When asking for advice be as specific as you can. when possible attach photos and other pertinent details.

    3. Do a forum search before posting your rant... We all forget our challenge may not be unique and there may be a discussion about the exact same topic! For example:
    batteries 18v VS 24v, Battery chargers, toilet clogs, my [tool] vibrates, etc

    4. Explain what steps you have already attempted to fix the problem and include details.
    Details help reduce those questions that you find patronizing and you have no patience for!

    5. Never bite the hand that helps you. Yeah, there are a myriad of comedians on the reflector....and most should seriously keep their day job....

    6. For those of you responding to the call for help, Stop and think about your reply. Does your posting a reply help or hinder the problem solving exercise?

    for example: "help! my yikky yakky is frozen" answer: "Well, I think the yikky yakky is a piece of crap, buy a thingy instead"! My thingy has never frozen!

    Now honestly how did that help that frustrated member solve his problem!

    Finally read your diatribe carefully. check for [spelling errors] two, to, too do not mean the same thing. there and their are also different. Using the incorrect word may hinder a solution! Yeah typos occur but that's the purpose of "proofreading"

    Don't forget to use your "spell checker"

    Avoid long runs without any space. This makes for extremely fatiguing and difficult reading.
    The paragraph is your friend. It's OK to abuse the paragraph! Each time you have a fresh thought, or breathe between sentences make it a new paragraph.

    For those of you with an education beyond 5th grade a little basic grammar would also be helpful in understanding your request for help.

    for example. "I got me one of them things and it ain't doing the cut good"
    Now to make this easier to understand try: " I have one of those tools. My tool does not cut well"

    Finally: When you solve the problem you initially had...return to [your] the original post to close it out. Explain what was done to solve the problem in detail. That provides a resource for the next person that may have a similar challenge. Even if you gave up and trashed the tool let us know.

    Some folks do this already in a summary format and it's extremely helpful in both assistance and as a technical primer with respect to the tool. If someone does a search and notes the information, it may influence their next tool purchase.

    Cactus Man
    Last edited by cactusman; 02-02-2009, 12:32 PM.

  • #2
    Re: How to solve a problem -or- How to communicate

    Great thread Cactus Man.