A 4-hr workshop was conducted
to a group of near 70 Form 6 students.
According to the teacher and
counselor, the students take things easy and are not motivated to study
hard, even though they are in the year of Form 6 public exam, which will determine their
opportunity for further study.
Undersigned was engaged as
coach and facilitator for the workshop, and some presentation slides
were prepared for the coaching and facilitation, under the topic of
“Managing The Future & Motivation”.
The first hour of the workshop,
before 20 min. recess break, was carried out to create rapport with the
students, and gather more information and sentiments on them. The
following observations were made, using facilitation process to elicit
their mindsets and thinking pattern:
The room is
rather cramped, 2-classroom capacity with 70 students for the workshop
of the students was high : they responded enthusiastically during the
simple ice-breaking and introduction.
high intensive conversation in the sub-group when open topic was given
for their own conversation, although there was no monitoring whether
they talked off-topic or not. (But energy level was high, hence good
resourcefulness to tap on)
About 20+ %
of the students actively participated in voicing their views, sharing
their stories, or volunteering during experiential activities. (A few
wanted to volunteer several times)
admitted that they are not motivated to study hard, as they do not know
how to be motivated, even they wanted to.
fun-loving teenagers and they acknowledge they did not and do not face
hardship in life. Their parents are not wealthy, neither poor.
their parents are small traders, employee – but not professionals or
highly educated. This could have a big bearing on their behavior. (see
more observations below)
do not have clear visions of their future, say 10 yrs from now. For e.g.
they response by saying they want 2M – money and marriage. But have no
clue doing what to get the money, professional, businessman or robbers.
not imagine worse consequences to their life, if they remind
un-motivated, after all they have not experienced any hardship in life.
little reference models or people they admire to learn from, except a
few local politicians, some famous singers, etc. But they also have no
clue what it takes for them to be successful.
they have very little clues what they should be doing right now, in
order to stay motivated or to somehow realize the little ideas they have
about the future.
they are fun-loving, full of energy, they want to be motivated but do
not know how, ….)
Psychology was applied to gauge what negative feeling or emotion arising
from not motivated., .. with little response i.e. they do not feel
anything. Psychology-conversation, nevertheless, was carried out, to
make subtle suggestions of possible guilt feeling, hidden fear, or
subsequent hours of the workshop, coaching approach was carried out,
having individuals coming out to the class to share their thoughts or
difficulties to be motivated, what they do and do not know
i.e. to bring to their conscious minds
Interestingly, many did
volunteer to the front to share, still with high energy. Example: “I
want to stay motivated to do my homework, but I keep postponing it!
“(Procrastination!), “After some
coaching question, another person reviewed “I need external pressure to
drive me “ “I can’t find the passion and fire in me” (or words to that
effect), “I have a dilemma, I do not have any goal in my life hence I
cannot be motivated”, something
like “I don’t know what I don’t know. What can I do then?” …..
The coaching Approach
Using the data or story
presented by the students, coaching approach was used, with the
leveraging on their past resourcefulness to move forward.
Get them to
provide more options in their seemingly stuck situations
stories related to their situations :to encourage them, or to have them
forgive their own short-coming as negative emotion seldom become
compelling driving force in life
engagement among themselves, to have their own conversation
The following key message was
emphasized to both the students and teachers, i.e. to stay motivated,
the occasional motivation talk by professional speakers or teachers
cannot be sustaining, i.e. such talk may motivate for a while, but can
quickly vanish in thin air
It is the regular, frequent
avenues created for the students to have action, reflection and plan for
next action (even small talks like volunteer to the front to share a
story) on things that matters, to find and share ideas on other people
successful stories (since there is such limitation from their family and
parents), to learn and conduct more their own coaching-conversation
among themselves, … thereby increasing their capacity and capability,
daily, bit by bit.
At the end of the workshop, the
motivation level of the whole class, somewhat increased to about 25-30%,
using subjective measurement method, before and after the workshop.
Again such increased motivation can not last if there is no follow up.
(Similarly, companies and corporations invest huge sum of money in
training and consultancy, but without follow up and disciplined practice
of class learning, with skillful management intervention, little desired
outcome is realized)
system emphasized too much on downloading of information, ideas, advice
… hence students are mostly on receiving ends, not thinking on their
feet. Teachers are trained to teach, not coach the students to make have
their own self-discovery and find their own solutions. Especially those students who
have lower self-esteem, or lack of skills in expressing their thoughts,
and hence less responsive, the tendency is for the teacher to give them
quick answers, advice or direction. But people seldom learn from other
people’s ideas and belief, but people learn from their own inner
conviction and passion. Inner conviction and passion are to be nurtured,
not quickly be given the answers.
pattern of behavior exist in organizations and corporation. A large
number of executives, or even management, are on compliance-behavior,
they wait for instructions / direction from higher up : executives act
upon manager’s instructions, managers act upon Management instructions,
and Management act upon Board of Directors instructions. There is little
sense of ownership and independent thinking. Of course, in business
organization, stakes are high, if one rocks the boat, there are
consequences like pay cut or sacking or not getting the promotion.
Maybe, It needs not be the case if education system brings up students
similar pattern of behavior of not unleashing individual potentials, but
downloading of information, instructions or advocacy from a few is in
the business meeting, whether it is held in profit, non-profit
organizations or schools, or clubs, …. Chair-person and a few dominated
the meeting with their advocacy, with some Q&A, but many ideas remain
un-expressed or not-discovered. And the business meeting usually drags
on for hours.
In this time
of economic crisis, more and more un-motivated, not thinking on their
own feet people will really create more burdens to the society.
fundamental skills for people who want to develop other human being
potentials are Facilitation and Coaching.