said by Chiyo:
As someone who can relate being in the tech's shoes I would probably stare too because YOU are the person in charge, you are the person I would be looking to for leadership.
I would also keep my mouth shut if I don't know what the issue could be as I'm just a tech I might be right or lucky to be right but honestly I would feel really stupid if I opened my mouth and was way wrong and we just spent wasting time while our entire network is down.
Glad you figured it out.
Early on in my IT career I was sent out to a remote site on a weekend by myself to figure out why their entire (single vlan) network was down. Never having seen a switch loop in person before, I still noticed that something was awry with the lights on the switches. Didn't take me long to figure it out.
If I were one of the techs in the OP's situation, I would be standing there wondering why my boss was having such a hard time coming up with a diagnosis.