Friday, February 8, 2013

Defining "Better"

When working through the Thrivapy process with students, one of the essential conversations is having the student define their "better" self.  Another way I describe this conversation is to help the student articulate what their next best version of themselves is like.  While every Thrivapy session is enjoyable, this one (which comes up multiple times as the student grows) is among my most enjoyable and insightful.

Defining "better" almost always begins with the student talking about grades.  During this part of the conversation, better is defined as better grades.  B's become A's.  C's become B's.  This is a natural part of the conversation and it almost always is the focus of my first "defining better" conversation.  However, as I guide the student to identify the actions, behaviors, and adjustments she may need to make in order to realize this "better" the conversation shifts to the factors that often result in better grades such as effort, communication, organization, learning teams, etc.

The second type of "better" then surrounds the behaviors identified near the end of the first conversation.  Reflecting on past success, the student then begins to gain a clearer understanding of the types of behaviors that lead to better results.  The challenge during this phase of defining "better" is to help the student identify roadblocks to employing those newly discovered behaviors and providing tips for how to trigger those behaviors when situations arise that call for them to emerge.  

It is usually around this time that I recognize the effort to define better results and better behaviors, but then ask about another critical area for "better" that most students are rarely asked.

What about better satisfaction?  How can your work make a better connection with those who come in contact with it (teachers, family, class mates, etc.)?

The challenge with this conversation is the lack of tangible rewards that often come from finding better satisfaction and connections.  This achievement comes with mostly intangible/emotional rewards such as happiness, less stress, or feelings of belonging.  Some students need time to understand the relationship between greater satisfaction and connections AND better results.

This is one area that Thrivapy is different than other methods of supporting students, families, and teachers.  The focus is not only on the tangible rewards of achievement, but also on the aspects of achievement that are becoming better known and more important in the 21st century.  With no lack of "stuff", "better" can no longer be viewed in terms of only fixed rewards.  While fixed rewards still hold value, the "more" in "better" includes a greater focus on the internal rewards of one's work.  Which, in turn, leads to better quality of work and thus, better fixed results.


I am proud to announce that I am taking Thrivapy to the world by offering personal advising and guidance using my Thrivapy approach.  If you are a student, parent, teacher, or administrator looking for a way to discover greater satisfaction and greater achievement in your educational experience, Thrivapy is designed to help you.

Thrivapy, the web site, is scheduled to launch soon.  However, if you want to discuss what I can do to help you or to find out more about Thrivapy, email me:  troy@thrivapy.com
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