Friday, October 24, 2008

Asking for is OK

Asking for assistance or help with a situation, a project, resolving world issues or working on a OK.

As a facilitator, a student, a soldier, a leader, a war vet, a parent, a child, a volunteer, a techie, whatever the role may be...if I never asked for assistance I would probably be stuck in a corner somewhere… maybe even stuck back in elementary school trying to grasp the concept of long division.

So how and what are we teaching our students, our children? The normal cycle of life means raising our children to survive outside of the nest and survive without us. How did your parents/grandparents/guardians/people in your life teach you? Was it acceptable to ask for help? How did you learn independence, interaction, and social skills? When did you learn to change a tire, cook a meal not in the microwave, how to think critically, how to write a resume, fill out a job or scholarship application, or how to balance a checkbook? Are you sharing computer skills within the family?

When I work with some of our young adults that will take our place in the world, I often hear “They just don’t listen” or “No one told me”. Sometimes they refer to their parents, sometimes they refer to their teachers or other important adults or peers in their life. Not listening to our students, our children, factors into their learning process.

So whether I am working with our service members or the young adults in the community, it is OK to flip the script and ask for their assistance. I make it point to learn something from everyone in my life, good, bad, or indifferent. Providing our young adults with opportunities to share what they have learned allows everyone to learn. These opportunities also provide a check on learning, which could be a light bulb moment for someone, whether it was a primary objective or not.

As we break down the sage on stage mentality that many people grew up with, learning to be the guide on the side can be done by the students as well as the adults. What have you learned and shared today?

It is OK to ask for assistance or help. It is OK to include exercises on how to use help functions and tools and incorporate error management training. This can be done in real life scenarios as well as on the computer, regardless of the age of the student. Sharing experiences about asking for assistance and how to react to a request for assistance is just another factor of lifelong learning.

So how have you learned to ask for assistance? Your comments are appreciated.
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