We all want our children and students to achieve goals in school and in life. To help, many adults pressure children to do things (e.g. fill out that college application, do your homework, practice the piano, etc.). However, a better approach is to remove barriers to achieve goals rather than pressure people to achieve them.
Adults resort to pressure because that’s typically what occurs in the work world. When leaders are not happy with people who report to them, they add pressure. But the really astute leaders know that instead of adding pressure, a more successful approach is to ask what are the barriers that are keeping people from doing their best. If you think back to some of your best bosses of the past, you’ll notice that they likely used this approach.
When working with children, you may not be able to remove all barriers. However, you can ask yourself and the child, “What can I do to remove barriers preventing you from doing your best?” Listen to the answers. You may be surprised at how much more young people can accomplish when they feel supported by a caring adult.