Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Can you give me some examples of reflective questions?

QUESTION:

Language is my biggest stumbling block. I know what I want to say but on the spur of the moment I often find it hard to put into words. As I develop new habits with this discipline approach, I sometimes feel a bit tongue-tied. Can you give me some examples of questions that don’t sound manipulative or coercive.

RESPONSE:

Developing new habits can be a challenge at first, but remember that any skill gets easier with practice! There are many questions in Dr. Marshall’s book that can be used to prompt reflection (pages 19-20.)

It’s important to remember that tone of voice is very important when asking questions, so as to avoid any sense of sarcasm or coercion.

Here are some further questions my teaching partner and I have used in the past. They may be helpful to you:

  • Is this going to get you what you want?
  • Is this going to move you forward?
  • Is what you’re doing helping you move forward… or backward?
  • Does it feel as if were moving forward here, or does if feel as if we’re stuck? What would you have to do if you wanted to move forward in this situation?
  • What can I do to help you?
  • Are you going to let this _____ (situation, person, problem, setback, disappointment etc.) hold you back?
  • Are you going to be able to rise above this (situation? disappointment? etc.)
  • Look at _______’s face. How is he/she feeling right now as a result of (what you have done/said)?
  • When you do this are you you making a friend–or pushing a friend away?
  • What would a ________ (mature, kind, reliable, responsible, extraordinary) person do now?
  • Now that you’ve __________, how could you repair the situation?
  • Think for a moment. When you _____________, what kind of a relationship are you creating with ________ (me? the Noon Hour Supervisor? other kids? the adults in the school?)
  • What kind of impression are you making on all the people here, when you _______? Is this the impression you want to make?
  • Can you picture yourself doing_______ ( a very specific procedure)?
  • When you __________, what pictures are you creating about yourself in the minds of your (friends? teachers? adults in our school?)
  • Is what you’re doing going to make you happy in the long run? Is there a happier choice? (Thanks to Dan Gurney for this question.)
  • Here’s an opportunity for you to ___________ (act on a high level, try a new challenge, be a kind friend, show some initiative, act with self-discipline etc.)
  • If you continue down this path, of doing what you’re doing, what will likely happen/result?
  • Would you like an opportunity to do that again, at a higher level?
  • Would you be willing to try that again at a higher level?
  • Would you be kind enough to allow ________ the opportunity to try that again at a higher level?
  • If you feel you can’t do any more right now, when do you plan to get your work done?
  • Is what you’re doing __________ (safe? on a high level? kind? appropriate? helpful? respectful?)
  • How might you feel if someone else did that to you?
  • Think to yourself of someone in our class who generally operates on a very high level. What would that person do now, in your situation?
  • Who do you want to be in charge of you? Who do you want to be your boss?
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1 Comment
  1. thanks for this information, I am studying family counseling but struggle with knowing the way to ask reflective questions, its great that you have some examples thanks

Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
marv@marvinmarshall.com
Piper Press
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