Fixing the problem versus teaching the solution

Trainers are often stopped in the hall, called on the phone, or e-mailed with requests from colleagues who need help fixing an application problem. What do you do? Fix it for them or teach them how to do it themselves? Read this featured article and share your thoughts.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I’m sure you’ve heard this proverb before; it’s a favorite metaphor of trainers and tech support professionals alike.

What do you do when colleagues ask you for help in fixing their spreadsheet problems? Do you just fix the problem for them or do you sit down and teach them how to fix the problem themselves?

A while back, Jody Gilbert wrote an article titled “Sometimes, you just need to bait the hook .” Gilbert says to “ask yourself whether it's your job to solve today's problem or to impart the skills to handle computer adversity forever.”
How do you handle cries for help from your colleagues? Do you fix their problems for them or teach them how to fix it themselves? We’d like to know what you think, so please post your comments below.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox