As I founded Konshius, I could feel a shift happening in my own approach towards my thoughts, actions, and learning methods. As they say, “practice before you preach,” I got into a state where I could consciously observe my evolution from being a parent-teacher to becoming a thinking facilitator and a coach. Through this blog, I want to share 2 important aspects I encountered on my journey.
Before we dive into it, I would like you to think of the times when your child made an exciting observation about things going around you that left you startled. I remember when my children had just begun going to school, they could differentiate and identify which of the two diaries was my diary. Breaking it a bit further, it was because one of them was red and the other one was black. So, they mapped the colours to the purpose without reading what was written in the diary. More so, as siblings, children learn to divide everything at a very early age, and as they grow, you might have noticed they start asking questions on how to link their curriculum content to real-life, like using a scale to divide something into two.
As parents, we all want our children to display authentic interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, develop insights and connect dots to discover patterns in their surroundings. We all aim to nurture our child’s full potential and develop them into dynamic and active thinkers having critical life skills; know how to think and how to learn. We are their most crucial and primary source of learning. We are our child’s primary reference for their identity. As a parent or facilitator, we are responsible for laying the initial foundation of their thoughts, actions, observations, and perspectives. No third person can provide so much value to the learning process as we parents can. It might seem heavy to carry, but trust me, it is the most exciting and enjoyable journey you will ever take.
- The first aspect is, “thinking cannot be changed by instructing someone to think in a particular way.” To understand it, let’s consider that if you were to tell me – Ashutosh you need to think logically, or you need to have some patience. Do you think I would know what to do so that I become logical or develop patience? No. Why? Because I would not know what you are asking me to do through these words. Why? Because these words are mental behaviours. Think about it! Can you really make someone logical by asking them to be logical?
Alternative: Let’s make it action-oriented. We are the catalyst in our child’s learning journey. By creating experiences or situations where our children can observe us doing it, or we create scenarios for them where they can develop these mental behaviours, we can enable them to learn ‘how to learn,’ or learn ‘how to think.’
- The second aspect is, “if someone is doing something in a particular way, they are doing it because in their head they believe that way is the right way to do it.” Why? Because any action happens due to what we consciously or unconsciously think or believe. So, any incorrect action means that somewhere the doer believes and thinks it to be right. So, just by telling or instructing someone that what they are thinking is not correct, never brings the deepest change in their thinking.
Alternative: By creating the right experiences we can help them see their own thinking. Subject to, these experiences should be able to make them reflect on their own thinking and the outcome or results of this thinking. So, when a child (or adult) sees that the current way of thinking is not helping to achieve results, then the child will be open to reviewing self-thinking and will be willing to learn how to change it.
Unfortunately, our whole system directly or indirectly keeps teaching us to comment on actions or behaviours and completely ignores the fact that any behaviour or action is only a result of how one thinks. So, as thinking facilitator, our key task is, not to comment on the behaviour or actions but to ask questions to understand the thinking behind that behaviour or action. Trust me, when we ask questions to understand the thinking, our learners will be happy to answer because they will see that you are doing this to understand them better and in the process are not being judgmental.
In the methodology followed at Konshius, there is a stage called ‘Explore,’ and it is a very important stage(learn about all the 5 stages of game-based learning at Konshius). This free-flow play stage allows the learners to play the game as per their current process of thinking. This stage is important to create the foundation of willingness in the learners to accept the fact that there is a better way to play the game. When our learner is not able to solve any situation, it is time for us as thinking facilitators to make a keen observation on what is that our learner is not able to think, which in turn is not making our learner take correct action.
To build this methodology from the start, the ideal way before starting the game playing session is to say to our learner – ‘As we are playing the game together, so we are friends. And, for this duration of playing the game, please call me Konshius Friend’. If you and your learner are comfortable, you can even suggest being addressed by your name. In fact, when I conduct sessions with the children, they either call me Konshius Friend or Ashutosh Friend.
At Konshius, we empower parents to become lifelong mentors to their children. As I was working with my team to design these games, I made a keen observation on not providing answers to my team but asked questions around the problems they were facing which encouraged them in discovering solutions on their own. I observed that by implementing this, not only did they learn how to learn, how to think, but they also got better connected to me as their facilitator. And, exactly the same changes we have seen in our sessions with the children. They just can’t stop themselves from loving us. By implementing this learning with our children, we alongside being the parents can actually become the best facilitator-friend of our children.
We, as humans, are always looking for someone in our life to connect with, someone who is willing to understand our thoughts and become a part of our actions. These few people become our close connections, and we look forward to talking to them and being with them. In my personal experience, and as a concerned part myself, believe me when I say, “a parent is the best fit for this role for the child,” and this form of coaching is permanent, unlike other modes.
Uncover Thinking. Discover Potential. All while having fun!