Quite often when I’m talking to a student, I have an end goal in mind for a conversation. There are definitely times when I just want to catch up or shoot the breeze, but more often I have some kind of goal I’m hoping to achieve through a conversation with a student. That goal could be anything from the student taking a step toward change, thinking differently or anything in between. One of the best ways I’ve found to get closer to those goals is to leave students with a challenge.
If you have the respect of your students, they want to live up to the challenges you put in front of them. Especially for boys, it’s hard to stay away from a challenge, game or anything involving a win/lose, so it’s easy to lay a challenge down and expect them to live up to it.
This exact thing happened this week with one of my students: I have been trying to get him to open up about some stuff in his life, and he’s just not letting that happen as easily as some of the other guys in my group. I had a conversation with him this week, and at the end I challenged him to take a bigger step out of his comfort zone. I haven’t seen if it has worked yet, but I know he’s been thinking about the challenge. Without that same challenge, I don’t know that he would’ve even given it a second thought.