As an Acton* parent, I struggled with asking questions of my young learners (and still do!). Over time I have been able to make the transition. However, I am quickly learning this is the easy part. The harder task is to ask honest questions.
Reading through the Acton owner forum, I came across the following comment on asking questions of learners:
If you ask a child a question you believe you know the answer to is dishonest. That’s not a question, it’s an interrogation where you are attempting to bend the will of a child to back up your story. Even if your story is true, it’s not an honest question because you are using a question to reach a predetermined answer. Acton Owner
How often do I fall into the trap of asking “dishonest” questions? Unfortunately, all the time! When my son has taken a toy from his sister, do I ask the honest question of “Why did you take that toy from your sister?” OR do I ask the dishonest question of “Did you take that toy from your sister?”.
The difference is striking because the former requires a response to which I truly do not know the answer and gets more to the heart of the issue. Might he be trying to correct an injustice from earlier in the day when his sister took a toy from him? Might he have done this to prevent her from getting hurt? We only know by asking the deeper question.
In Matthew 7:7, Christ extols us to ask, seek and knock. This is a very famous passage packed with theological interpretations. However, what is clear is that Christ is encouraging us to not only ask questions but to ask honest questions. “Ask” means a single request, “seek” refers to something more persistent, and “knock” implies deep persistence.
Be it our understanding of faith or each other, the path to truth lies in the persistent pursuit of asking honest questions.
Finally, as coaches, do we strive to ask honest questions while we pursue the truths asking, seeking and knocking? Are we so certain we know the correct answers to all the problems facing our teams, the players and their relationships with one another? I would suggest we should follow Christ's example and ask meaningful questions of our players and keep an open mind as to their answers. * Acton Academy is a learner driven educational community with over 400 locations in over 30 countries around the world.