Saturday 19 October 2019

"Question Thinking" - a professional development workshop for teachers

You are a car salesperson. Selling a brand or cars costing upwards of 1C! You get a call - "I am interested in your car". How do you make the sale? What do you reply when the customer asks you how many cars you've sold so far?

This was one of the role plays in the workshop for teachers and staff "Question Thinking" - on understanding the mindset we are operating from,  through the questions we ask ourselves and others.

The facilitator, Siraj Samsudeen, a management and data analytics consultant, brought to bear strands from mindfulness, professionalism, interpersonal communication to conduct this first of a four part series.

"We make assumptions about others based on our background and experience. We live life on autopilot. This is fine for most routine tasks, but key interactions require more engagement, a non judgemental  attitude and openess"

In the case of the role play, most "salespersons" focused on making a quick sale - and evaluated the customer's needs basis their own selves - price consciousness and quick delivery. However they failed to garner that the customer was solely interested in exclusivity.

This roleplay made participants conscious of the mindset that we operate from -  a "Judgers" closed mindset which leads to reactive behaviours that is based on the past.

Mr. Samsudeen talked about the need to develop an open "Learners" mindset which leads to more conscious choices focusing on the present and the future. Once we understand our own mindset,  we can change our mindsets on the fly to improve the way we communicate. He emphasized that learning to stay out of Judger mode takes time and conscious effort over a period of time.

The workshop is critical for any educator who deals with children. Very often the implicit power equation, the deadline driven syllabus delivery and the daunting task to handling a large group of children, makes teachers work in the Judgers mindset. The goal is for teachers to use the Learner mindset to understand and help their students 

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