Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Summary & Wrap-Up

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” and “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part II” here are my thoughts:

Stop playing the “Zero Sum Game”  - More Hams doesn’t mean less for everyone!

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part I

We need to honor the idea that “We are only as good as how well we teach & share.

Keep the anti-Elmers in Check.

Link: Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part II

Control the learner’s experience in a postive way. Basically until an anti-elmer (if they can) is reformed, keep students away from them.

Technical Hermitage

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part III

When you need to, go it alone and do the woodshedding, as – In a “Technical Hermitage” I only encounter the most positive ham I then knew – myself – while teaching myself.

Recognition of Elmership

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part IV

Reinforcement leads to a desire to do the good thing agian and again - Repeated public praise of the successful and willing Elmer will nurture that Elmer and inspire others to join the Elmer ranks.

Encouragement to Find an Elmer

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part V

Every student needs a teacher -Do what is needed to plant the idea of finding the mentorship of an Elmer in your fellow ham.

Awards/Wallpaper for both Elmers and the “Elmered”

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VI

Tokens marking the successes we have are more than just scorekeeping, they are reinforcement. Consider rewarding your club’s effective & successful Elmers with a tangible award in recognition of their contributions that they can display as wallpaper in their shack.  Include in recognition the student with a certificate type award marking their success as the “Elmered.” 

More Steps recognized at the Club/Community Level than just Three License Classes

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VII

Break down the advancement into smaller appealing acheivments -Keep track, recognize and honor incremental acheivements within the hobby.

Publicly Praise and Acknowledge the “Right Stuff”

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VIII

Praise given in secrecy is 1000 times less effective than praise opnely given - Very simple, hold up and publicly praise the Right Stuff in Amateur Radio.

Lessons – Just Like Tennis or the Violin?

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part IX

Like a ballplayer looks to coaches to help advance one’s game -Whether giving or taking instruction, on going amateur radio lessons will keep us improving and learning.

Write About It – Pass it on Vicariously.

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part X

Share in a way that stores your mentorship until the student is ready for it -Put your Radio Amateur Experience into words to give it a legacy of Elmering future generations of hams.

Continuing Education all Around?

Link: “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part XI

Make yourself a challenge to get better at this hobby – Continuing Education in setting personal education goals, starting that training, and seeing that training through until one’s personal goals are met, is core to a life-long progression in personal skills & enjoyment.

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I’ve tagged all of the posts in this series “The Positive Ham” if you want to search & read the lot of them.

While far from comprehensive the suggestions would seem to go along ways towards meeting the much of the motivators, borrowed from another role in life, contained in the acronym “M.I..CE.”, which stands for “Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego”

To that I must insist that even when motivated by MICE in hobby terms we have to be having FUN to make any of this worthwhile.

My appreciation to you for hanging in with me as these idas unfolded.  Thank you!

Again, as these are (just) a few of my observations and thoughts – what are your ideas?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part XI

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Continuing Education all Around?

Life is a journey, not a destination – and like all travelers we should be striving to learn more about every aspect of our lives.

Continuing Education is a good part of that discovery process.  Through life long learning we truly can improve.

A few weeks ago I was having coffee with a retired head of department from a one of the state university campuses, and he decried that though he has been retired for a decades that his cumulative wisdom really only helps him ask the questions in his field better!  He said he didn’t expect to find answers, rather that “better questions” were his goal.

Continuing Education (CE) may seem a bit nuanced in light of my prior suggestions to arrange for lessons, though I see CE as a higher level strategic self challenge where those lessons are one of many tactics that can be used to meet a personal CE goal.

In CE for enjoying Amateur Radio a lot of possibilities show merit – taking electronics courses, learning to solder & weld at a local technical school, learning how to Cadweld Grounding Systems together, studying troubleshooting bench techniques, working on one’s voice, enunciation and communication skills, brushing up (or learning) CW, learning how to code/script, doing a self-study course on using test gear… the list is endless, and really centers on what is useful, available and FUN for you personally.

CE may be a multi-year self challenge where perhaps one learns basics to build simply kits, then later surface mount skills, then another time on how to program ICs, then some study on enclosure layout & fabrication, then… well you get the idea, that CE can be a process with a long timeframe.

Biggest things are setting goals, using initiative to get the CE opportunity underway and carying through.  Gee, that makes it sound simple, doesn’t it?

Continuing Education in setting personal education goals, starting that training, and seeing that training through until one’s personal goals are met, is core to a life-long progression in personal skills & enjoyment.

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part X

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Write About It – Pass it on Vicariously.

There are lots of chances to “Elmer across time & distance” by recording what you have learned, been taught, discovered through experimentation, or simple stumbled upon.  Whether a technique was a rousing success or falls into a “don’t try this yourself” unsuccessful technique, you can help your fellow ham by writing about it.

What I am hoping is the net effect of this blog is the sharing of what others were kind enough to help me learn.  It is “giving back” to the ham community what has been given to me.

So take pictures and write up your ham projects & adventures.  Share those summaries with the radio amateurs who could benefit with your experience and wisdom.

Put your Radio Amateur Experience into words to give it a legacy of Elmering future generations of hams.

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part IX

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Lessons – Just Like Tennis or the Violin?

While there are few “naturals” among us, most of us can greatly “improve our game” with a lessons.

I knew that to take my participation in amateur radio to the level that was interesting me, that I would need some lessons.

Besides the ARRL CCE On-Line courses (which I took almost every one of the original offerings) I signed up for lessons sessions like “Contest University” attending several years of that program the day before the Dayton Hamvention.  Awesome jump start on things about contesting I really hadn’t considered.

Attending various Dayton lectures/workshops, W9DXCC sessions and other one off programs were also lessons of a sort.

Then asking skilled hams to spend some time with me working on a specific focus – running a contest from W9EVT’s shack with him coaching how to log, listen and call at the same time – spending time with a club in England on how they operate there – short sessions with friends on how to set up digital macros to be more effective.  It all helps.

I’ve noticed over the years that outstanding professional musicians give each other lessons.  They quietly work with each other on improvement goals.  The first time two pros set up lessons left me puzzled.  I thought they each were awesome players, and kindly one of them explained that he valued these “peer lessons” more than anything.

There is the other side of lessons, nothing sharply focuses your skills and knowledge more than giving lessons.  When I had more time I would take a few youngsters for 4 to 10 session music lessons to work on something specific in their playing.  Nothing made sure my playing was up to scratch as knowing I would be teaching and likely demonstrating techniques.

Whether giving or taking instruction, on going amateur radio lessons will keep us improving and learning.

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VIII

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Publicly Praise and Acknowledge the “Right Stuff”

This is really basic.  Tell the amateur radio Elmer and the community about the “Right Stuff” with public recognition of things well done.

A few hours away a Michigan club has an outstanding – actual OUTSTANDING – youth radio program. “Delta County Amateur Radio Society” (DCARS K8PL), M & M Amateur Radio Club W8PIF, DAR K8DAR Club, and YACHT (Young Amateur Contest Ham Team) (I get confused who is who with all the great things they all have going) has more going for its youngest and newest hams than most club ever have going if you count everything they do for decades! Their youth YACHT radio club has over 100 members alone!

How do they keep this going?  - They make sure the young amateurs involved are recognized in the community, in the ham community and in ham publications.  They lavish praise where praise is due in a public way.

There is a lot that comes together with their success, but topping it is not letting things well done get hidden.

Very simple, hold up and publicly praise the Right Stuff in Amateur Radio.

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VII

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

More Steps recognized at the Club/Community Level than just Three License Classes

We recognize a “Black Belt” as a acheivement through a system with other belts and classes, we see in scouts all sorts of merit badges that help lead to earned advancement in that organization, and for those who computer game the characters have major levels with nearly unmeasurable complexity in detailed acheivement/power/skill sorts of attributes.

Why can’t we do the same thing with our hobby, perhaps recognizing at the local level those who have “qualified” to run the club station, or those who have got PSK31 down pat?  How about those who have built and used their project to make QSOs?  Or recognition of those who have met the ARES/RACES training & drill goals?  Or those who have activated an Island, a Museum Ship or a Lighthouse?

Look at how computer skills can earn you recognized accreditations – last year I did an online introduction to Programing “Ruby on Rails” and earned a nifty “eBadge” that while zero cost to the course provider was kind of a nice touch.

Keep track, recognize and honor incremental acheivements within the hobby.

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW

Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Solutions Offered Part VI

Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:

Awards/Wallpaper for both Elmers and the “Elmered”

When you think of the efforts, getting on the air at odd times of the day to catch a rare DX station in increase our DXCC counts, endless calling “CQ CQ Nebraska for WAS ..” to get that last state for a Worked-All-States award, or trying to run our station around the clock for a weekend to get every county in that State QSO party…. when you think of the things we get up to get an award – a piece of paper we put up like “wallpaper” in our radio room or den to show off, and perhaps a brief mention in those results listings in QST that look like the stock prices pages from the newspaper – we’ll we seem to be pretty highly motivated by the small acheivement.

Why not put that same motivation to use rewarding successful effective Elmers with Awards that they can use as Wallpaper on their glory wall?

A few weeks ago I stopped at the butcher shop to pick up an order and noticed the butcher had a beautiful large “Meister Brief” certificate from his West German school hanging.  The certificate was stunning and even without knowing German impressive.  This was no little lazer printed 8-1/2 x 11 form, but was the real McCoy, and obviously a point of pride.

Consider rewarding your club’s effective & successful Elmers with a tangible award in recognition of their contributions that they can display as wallpaper in their shack.  Include in recognition the student with a certificate type award marking their success as the “Elmered.” 

….

So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?

73

Steve
K9ZW