Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Challenges Can Pay Off

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Challenges Can Pay Off

Article excerpt

with Chris Sarra

HAPPY new year to all of my new readers. I am so delighted at this opportunity to be in this relationship with you to share some thoughts and ideas this year.

I have thought about getting into this type of space for some time now, in part because I enjoy connecting positively with people, but also because I love sharing insights and ideas and having my own mind stretched by those prepared to challenge me.

People who know me know that I speak lots about high expectations relationships, particularly in schools. High expectations relationships are not only confined to schools though; relationships exist all around us and all have the potential to be positive.

In such relationships we are mindful of our own humanity as we acknowledge and embrace the humanity of others. With this as a basis, relationships have the capacity to be great.

Within the confines of a high expectations relationship it is healthy to share ideas, to listen, and also to challenge.

For me the most exciting part of a high expectations relationship is the part where we challenge each other, because in this space we can help others to learn, or we can learn ourselves. There are, of course, some things here that stifle learning potential on both sides.

Some of us feel threatened if others do not share or simply go along with our point of view. Here, we kind of "listen" to the feedback given, but often we listen to find ways to shoot their point of view down and reinforce our own view.

As the other person speaks we are often busy inside our own heads thinking "yeah but ... yeah but!". In times like this we "listen", but we may not actually "hear" the alternative point of view.

In a high expectations relationship it is important to actually listen to hear what the other person is trying to say.

At the Stronger Smarter Institute, we say feedback, or a challenge to our point of view, is a gift and it is one that should be embraced in the interests of stretching our own minds and perhaps becoming more enlightened. …

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