Sunday, February 6, 2011

Changing Paradigms Part 2-Selling the idea / asking questions

Marketing and sales people are beginning to recognize ' SDT' principles. They are learning that aggressive selling might make a sale , but does not produce committed clients who will be regular buyers of your product. When you help a customer perceive his purchase as an ' autonomous decision that meets needs that you have helped him to identify , that he has made a competent and well informed choice and feels related and supported by the sales person , you have created a regular and committed customer.

The same goes for selling ideas or approaches to parenting, education or care in treatment facilities.

The last thing we want to do is lecture or tell what CPS/SDT is all about . We have to be sales people and use a ' selling by attraction ' plan , so people sell CPS to themselves.

We can use CPS with them to address their concerns. We need to rely on the 'power of questions' so we are directing the conversation , but they are doing the speaking and we the listening.

So we are the ones who ask the questions and when we give answers we end off with a question . We need to ask questions in a way that leads to a ' yes' answer.

Here are some questions

Would you not agree that kids would prefer to do well , be successful and fit in adaptively ?

If kids are looking bad – hitting, screaming, yelling, throwing, biting etc is it logical to say that they prefer ' looking bad' to being successful and adaptive ? Attention seeking , trying to get what you want , or avoid doing things are one explanation for their behavior , but don't we all seek attention, try and get what we want , or avoid certain things ? Would not the difference be that we have the skills to get attention, what we want and avoid things in an adaptive and appropriate way , whereas these kids don't have these skills , wouldn't this be a more accurate explanation ? When a kid does not complete his tasks, and we call him lazy or defiant we are offering only one explanation. But even if we accept this premise , where do we take it ? How does defining the problem of laziness or defiance help us and the kid. Will 'making him ' want to cooperate or do his tasks deal make him less lazy or less defiant ? What's going on in his brain when we use carrots and sticks to control him ? What lesson or skills is he learning ? Would you not agree that what matters is the lessons kids learn and not what we think we are teaching them ?

For the last 30 years the researchers Deci and Ryan ( see Alfie Kohn's writings) have been exploring human motivation . Would you not agree that their findings are logical , that when people can direct their lives and feel that they are acting in an autonomous way they are likely to be more intrinsically motivated and committed to what they are doing than being manipulated by levels , rewards etc , do you agree ? Would you not agree that engaging kids in thinking and reflection will help their acquire life skills ? Would you not agree that kids learn to trust care givers when they help them come up with a better plan rather than punish them ? Would you not agree that incentives and rewards send a message to a kid , that we don't trust them to do their best without being bribed ? Would you not agree that a close and trusting relationship leads to better learning ? Would you not agree that helping kids articulate their concerns , hear your perspectives , solve problems in a collaborative way , reflect on the impact he is having on others rather than what's going to happen to him , a better way of empowering him than rewards or punishments ?


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