“Hope” is such a positive word. It elicits warm, bright feelings of possibility. It expresses our desire for something to happen. The word “hope” has been extremely influential in political campaigns, sporting events and advertisements, convincing many of us that we will get smarter, stronger, richer and even kinder as a result.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like the word and consider myself a very positive, optimistic, hopeful person. But a colleague recently challenged me to think about how the word hope is used in many professional learning classes.
Here are a few examples:
As facilitators of adult learning, we have a task to accomplish within a given amount of time. We have assessed needs, created objectives, designed learning activities and know how to deliver effective instruction. My colleague suggested to me that if we do all of these things, we shouldn’t need to be hopeful. We should be able to say
I now think of this as “the hope conversation.” Since then, I am very aware of every time I use the word. I realize that my use of it in presentations and teaching often conveys “this may happen, but it may not.” So I have been trying to ban it from my lexicon when facilitating learning activities. Most often I find that I can easily replace it with a more definitive, positive statement. It’s a small change, but a powerful shift in what I’m communicating.
I hope you understand my point.
For additional ideas, check out "Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training."
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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