Lesson #3 Speaking Activity

Taking Personal Responsibility for Success – modified and adapted from Skip Downing’s OnCourse Principles

We talked about  different voices in your heads – your inner voices that talk to you throughout the day and impact your decisions. Those voices can complain about things, blame others, put you down, or they can help you find good solutions to problems. Which voices do you think are the following sentences, downers, blamers, complainers, or helpers? Skip calls them Victim Voices or Creator Voices.

I failed another test. I’m so stupid. I can’t be in college.
I failed another test. I need to get help from a tutor to improve.
I failed another test. That teacher is really bad!
I failed another test. Everything is against me – no time, no money, no computer!

Take the next scenarios and practice responses with each voice. Which voice helps you to be successful and reach your goals in each case?

A.    Your new boss is really mean and won’t allow vacation for next month…what would a blamer, complainer, put downer, and helper do?
B.     You have a really hard test coming up…
C.     You have class in a computer lab and find it hard not to surf the web during class…
D.    Your schedule is really busy between school, work, family, and friends…

The Wise Choice Process
Skip Downing also gives us a process for making good decisions. He calls it the Wise Choice Process. http://www.oncourseworkshop.com/Emotions009.htm

1. What’s my present situation? (Identify the problem or difficulty.)
2. How would I like my situation to be? (Define my desired outcomes and experiences.)
3. What are my possible choices?(Without evaluating, make a list of options.)
4. What’s the likely outcome of each possible choice?(Missing information? Stop and get more!)
5. Which choice(s) will I commit to doing?(Make a promise to myself.)
6. When and how will I evaluate my plan?(Assess my results.)

Now think about a problem you are currently having. Think through all the steps above and answer all the questions. Now talk about it with a partner. Explain your problem and the process. Then switch and listen to your partner’s story. Remember to encourage each other to use helper voices – not blamer, complainer, or put-downer language!

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