Prevention Versus Cure

Another type of troubleshooting involves problem-causing trends. If you are constantly faced with the same type of problem, you should look at how to prevent it in the future. Figure out what is causing the problem and how you make changes to stop it from recurring. By employing this type of troubleshooting, you prevent a problem rather than always trying to solve it each time it occurs.

Perhaps your boss meets with his boss every Friday morning to give an update as to your department's progress. You begin to notice a trend. At 4:00 p.m. every Thursday, your boss starts to become irritable. He asks you to summarize what you and your colleagues have accomplished during the week. He always needs the summary in an hour, no matter what other urgent business you have to tend to. Some weeks, you have had to drop important work to write the summary and it has given others the impression that you were not working hard enough. There are a number of ways in which you might prevent another such Thursday afternoon, rather than simply dealing with it the same way week after week.

You could ask to speak with your boss about the summaries, and find out if this will be your responsibility each week. If it is, you might consider asking your boss to alert the others in your department that every Thursday you will be busy from 4:00-5:00, so everyone is clear about what you are doing. Another possible solution would be to clear your own schedule on Thursday afternoons, or even begin work on the summary on Thursday morning, or even earlier in the week. If you know you will be expected to complete this task, you can troubleshoot by preventing it from becoming a crisis. Take control of your work schedule and be ready every Thursday for the inevitable job of writing the summary.

Below is a graph you might want to use to explore possible troubleshooting methods. It can work for preventative troubleshooting, as described in the section above, or for anticipated problems that will occur whether you are prepared for them or not.

Troubleshooting Graph

Here is a graph that has been completed to show what might happen if your goal was to graduate one semester early.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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