THE MOST IMPORTANT skill a tech can have

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I knew a tech when I was just starting who was hands down, no questions asked, the best technician at the company I worked.

EVERYONE, we are talking over 60 techs… we all knew it.

His name was Mike Gilford

Being the little brown nosing ladder climber I was, I made a complete study of Mike and found three things about him.

#1 – He read stuff. When a new product came out he would read up on it, data tags, product data, bulletins etc…

#2 – He didn’t talk much. There was no need. He proved what he knew by what he did more than what he said.

#3 – This is the big one. This is the one that I am confident is the trait that made him who he was. He was humble, willing to be wrong and willing to learn.

Let that sink in a minute…

Sure Mike had an ego like we all do. He didn’t like being corrected and he wanted to do things right.


He never let his ego get in the way of growing and learning

If you had something to share that would benefit him and others, he kept an open mind and was willing to accept it.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

I knew Mike when I was in my early twenties and I hadn’t seen him in over 12 years but I vividly remember things he taught me. I bumped into him at an ACCA meeting the other day and sure enough… He’s still the same guy.

I still want to be like Mike.

— Bryan


  1. Avatar Genry Garcia says:

    Great post! Personally, I find that the more I learn the more I realize much I still don’t know. I too would like to be like your friend Mike.

    1. Avatar Rib says:

      Some of the best things I’ve ever learned was from the old guys. And shutting my mouth ( whist is hard to do) and listening.

  2. Avatar Julius says:

    Bryan, can u give me a procedure how to get a subcooling using a psychrometer. Thanks

    1. Avatar Joe Jach says:

      Mr. Julius, I think you may have missed the point of this post…

  3. Avatar Jason S says:

    I’d say effectively communicating with customers is #1. After almost 30 years in the trade, I can say without a doubt that I will hire an average technician with excellent customer skills over a supertech who is poor at communicating with customers. Like it or not, our value as technicians boils down to our ability to make customers happy. Frequently that has less to do with technical skills and is more about people skills.

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