a lesson in patience when dealing with a beginner

  p;3 20:20 15 Feb 07
Locked

I have gotten involved with someone who has had and is still having computer problems; the , to me, simple task of downloading a program to a folder and getting to load and run is proving far more difficult that I would have expected; BUT; what AM I expecting of/from them?
I am having to remind myself that I too was where they are now and that basic step by step help , advise and guidance is needed and to NOT get frustrated when things are NOT grasped or understood; just because I know , does not mean that THEY know how to do specific things

I admit I am feeling frustration that things are not being understood, but I need to remember that I too at one stage knew NOWT about computers and to have patience and udnerstanding when things are not understood;

this also can be far easier said than done:))

  Totally-braindead 20:25 15 Feb 07

Is it the thread about the anti virus program we are talking about? The one where the download wasn't there?
If it is then I'm oversensitive as I just left it after the individual accused me of talking down to her.
If it is that thread then you're more patient than me.

  VoG II 20:26 15 Feb 07

It can be extremely frustrating but also very rewarding. On here I think that 'Absolute Beginners' helps - at least we know what we are dealing with.

On another, specialised, forum and to quote another member I have started to 'teach a man to fish' and not to present him with Sole Meuniére ;o)

  Jak_1 20:33 15 Feb 07

When helping out friends with their pc problems I think of the sign on the rear of many driving school cars, 'Remember, we were all learners to start with'.

  Totally-braindead 20:34 15 Feb 07

In some ways you can't win. If you try to put it in plain language you get a very occassional individual that accusing you of treating them like a child, most take it as its meant, you don't know how much they know so try to make it clear and simple and most appreciate that.
On the other hand you can state something using technical stuff that flies right over their heads.
There are also a select few, and I've only dealt with a couple, who cannot grasp what you say no matter how simple you make it and how hard you try. In short you can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink.
I guess I lack patience for this sort of thing because if I tell a person how to do something 3 times and they just won't do it I give up.

  p;3 20:37 15 Feb 07

that surely should be one's aim; stand alongside someone and slowly teach them the skills so they cna do it for themselves; however long it takes; someone took the time to teach me..so why should I not take the time to teach another?

  Forum Editor 20:40 15 Feb 07

Precisely.

Sometimes it's not easy to remember though, and I think everyone who teaches anything is at some point guilty of the Sole Meuniére syndrome.

  grumpy old git™ 20:44 15 Feb 07

Four or five years ago the heading for the forum was expert advise in plain English.

If you did not know the enquirer we used to say:-
I don't know your level of competence, so we will walk you right through it. Just disregard what you know.

We did not have absolute beginners but it seemed to pacify both the expert and novice user. Only thing was it could take ages to type out a full and comprehensive answer.

Now we have a load of click here's. saves on the typing.:)

  Totally-braindead 20:48 15 Feb 07

p;3 I agree thats why I say I lack the patience sometimes.
If the person clearly either does not understand what you are telling them and you cannot make it any simpler and they refuse to answer what you ask then I give up and leave it someone else who can either explain better or has more patience.
I remember one person who I ended up sticking with for a few days and I ended up typing exactly what they had to type including the word <enter> for when to press the enter key and after a few days they still couldn't do it. So I appologised for not being able to help further and left.
I do try to ascertain whether someone knows about computers as I post so that what I say makes sense but sometimes I have to admit defeat.
Am I correct about the post you are refering to by the way?

  mammak 20:58 15 Feb 07

I followed that thread your referring to,
and IMO you reacted very well to the unfounded accusation against you,
you were trying to help and it fell on deaf ears
you did the best thing leaving it.

p;3 very good advice to think before you post
but it is not always easy to give the best advice to someone you've never met and have very little idea of how much computer knowledge they have,

Absolute beginners at the least gives you some indication on peoples computer knowledge so it is easier to post help if of course you know the answer :-)

VoG™ what is a Sole Meuniére?

  p;3 21:00 15 Feb 07

how tempted might one be to just throw in the towel and walk away? but does that help the fellow computerite? soemtimes a very basic step by step IS needed; including how to press the enter button; patience is needed ..in abundance...
you cannot run before you can walk ;you cannot walk before you can stand ;you cannot stand before you can sit ....

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