If the other person could see the benefit of what we wanted to make them do we wouldn’t need to make them do it – they would be motivated to do it anyway.
So, the issue is not how can we make them do it, but how we can communicate the obvious benefits to them. And if they are still not able to find motivation to learn then how do we remove the blocks to learning which prevent them from doing so?
Motivation is an internal drive to meet a need – in this case the need to learn new skills and competencies. If someone is somehow forced to study that can hardly be described as motivation and is quite distinct from learning.
A motivated learner will seek to understand the lesson and perfect their skills. Someone ‘forced’ to study will simply act in whatever way they believe will remove the coercive dynamics from their environment – with an attitude of yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir…
Control, authority and discipline
Motivation and learning are internal processes we actually have NO direct control over in others. So we can only control – make choices about – our own conduct, and try to guide the other person to make the right choices about their conduct.
We are far more effective when we do this using the soft skills of persuasion and negotiation rather than trying to dominate every situation.
Control, authority and discipline are maintained using a mixture of relational techniques, good communications skills, and a willingness to engage in imaginative interpersonal transactions.
Teachers using 'soft skills' are not ideologically committed to one style of response. They may (within context) be firm or flexible, patient or assertive, forgiving or determined, compromising or uncompromising … and so on.
The message children hear is
You are in control - make a choice!
(of course, we mean ‘in control of yourself’)
What does this look like in the class?
An observer in such a class would see a teacher helping children
- experience a sense of choosing as much as possible
- understand how they will benefit from what they are asked to do
- experience a sense of being in control
- have reasons to trust
They will see the children
- being given clear honest explanations and time
- being fully valued and involved as human beings
- being encouraged to make and value agreements
The Good Relationships Method helps adults nurture strong relationships of trust with children leading to
- A more harmonious social environment for everyone.
- A more therapeutic milieu for children who are not thriving socially or academically.
- Increased co-operation from children who feel a greater sense of 'belonging' and trust.
- Increased motivation and self-belief leading to better long-term learning outcomes
- Greater job satisfaction and feelings of personal fulfillment for adults.