Just as blind spots put drivers at risk, they exist in the vehicle repair world, too, and spell potential trouble for repair technicians.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Jerry Mungle, an instructor in the GM Technical Training Clinic program.
Mungle is guided by a keen understanding of the need to confront that problem. In teaching GM dealer-sponsored clinics for mechanical service and body repair techs, Mungle tries to highlight specialized facets of GM vehicle knowledge.
“It’s getting harder to say that one size fits all anymore, across different vehicle makes and even within the GM family of vehicles,” he says. “Two GM vehicles side by side can be completely different in their structure and design.”
The clinics address that problem by focusing on GM-specific information that can guide techs in the nuances of repairing GM vehicles. And, while there’s a general script for each subject area, instructors bring their own style to the mix. Mungle, who has taught GM repair for 15 years, is no exception.
Training Should Be Fun
“I really try to make it enjoyable and relevant to what techs are working on and seeing in the course of their GM vehicle work,” he says. “I’ve changed my approach over the years to where it’s a more relaxed and less formal environment. I like group discussions, question-and-answer formats and taking the approach of ‘let’s work through this stuff together.’”
It also helps that Mungle has a common bond with his audience. Before moving into training, he was a Cadillac master technician. He grew up around cars, too, and has been involved in drag racing since he was 15.
Mungle found his calling as a trainer after trying his hand as a contract instructor for the GM Training Center in Houston while working as a Cadillac tech. He quickly found that he had a knack for it and joined GM as a regional instructor. Based in Houston, Mungle teaches GM training clinics in southern Texas and Louisiana.
“What I like most about it is helping people, knowing that I’ve made techs’ work lives a little easier and the service centers that employ them more profitable,” Mungle says. “The key to becoming a good instructor is being a good listener. In a roundabout way, if you’re listening, your audience will tell you what they need to know.”
Knowing he can’t cover topics exhaustively in a three-hour clinic, Mungle’s primary aim is to address key knowledge points. He supplements that with a discussion of the availability of extensive additional resources from GM that techs can consult. He never loses sight of the goal: arm techs with the understanding that repairing GM vehicles requires specialized knowledge, and strive to make sure they know how to find it and use that in their work.
“Knowledge is nothing more than another tool, and the more you have the better off you’re going to be,” he says.
Category: Trainers Corner