“I keep 6 good honest serving-men, they taught me all I knew;
Their names are What, Why and When, and How and Where and Who”
Happy New Year!
How was your Christmas break? Where did you spend Christmas Day? Who did you spend it with? When did you return to work? How does it feel back in the driving seat? Why are you reading this?
Quite simply, asking questions instead of telling hold the power to make our students think, come up with ideas of their own that they believe in and helps to motivate them. Our students, when being told, must passively accept our solutions and ideas.
By asking questions we build better relationships with our students: When telling, we become superior, the expert; when asking questions, we are on a more equal level with our students showing that their ideas and solutions hold value.
Nobody knows your student better than your student – Our beliefs and emotions affect our behaviour. As driving instructors, we focus mainly on the behaviour (faults) and not the root cause of that behaviour. We don’t always ask enough questions to find out how our students think or feel about situations or previous experiences. Only our students have these answers.
Nothing motivates students more than trying out their own ideas – a solution from the student motivates them more than advice, or the ‘right’ answer coming from the instructor.
Most of the time students know what they need to do to improve – They just need the confidence and support to try it out for themselves. When you ask your students questions and really listen to them, you will increase their confidence by demonstrating that you are taking an interest in their views and ideas, and that their opinions are valid. This will empower your students.
Asking helps to build responsibility – It moves your students away from depending on you for all the answers. It builds the responsibility muscle and develops ‘thinking’, independent drivers.
Improves Rapport – There is nothing better in life than someone taking an interest in you and listening to your points of view, ideas and opinions. Not only listening to them but helping you to develop them into reality. Asking our students about their beliefs, thoughts and how they feel about things they really care about, builds trust between you and helps your students to transform.
So if you want to really take off this year, try asking a few more questions before coming up with the solutions yourself. Have a great time, whatever you’re doing.