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Asking vs. Telling

questionmarkSome of my work involves working with educators and students; it is quite rewarding. Teachers who utilize coaching skills as they work with students report increased success because they change the way they communicate. Instead of “telling” students what s/he (the teacher) wants, s/he “ask” students about desired outcomes. The open communication leads to greater success for the student.

Students (actually, many people) express that they are never asked what they want … rather told how they “should be” what they “should do” or how they “should think”. Take a moment to reflect on your own childhood … how many times were you asked vs. told how to be, what to do or how to think. How about as an adult … are you asked or told, typically? Asking does not eliminate or minimize having rules or guide posts; boundaries are important and even desired, if only subconsciously, especially by kids.

I invite you to begin to notice how often you ask vs. tell and how often you are asked vs. told. We each hold our own solutions for ourselves. When we listen to what we are told and act accordingly, we often disconnect from your own solutions. This causes frustration, dissatisfaction and unhappiness. What do you want to ask yourself?

 

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