Engage gen Y – ‘ask’ not ‘tell’

How do we build positive relationships with young people? This is the question i often here. My response to this lies in the fact that we are all managers in some form, whether you are an educator, parent or business manager. As a manager we often feel we have to ‘make’ people do things. The problem with this is that as soon as anyone feels they are being forced to do something they resist. If you feel someone is pushing you, you are likely to stand your ground, brace yourself and perhaps push back. This tends to create a struggle.


The key to building positive relationships is to remove the struggle. There is no fight to be had and the way to eliminate the fight is to ASK don’t TELL.


Instead of barking out instructions to tell young people what to do, ask them with a question, eg “Can you please do this?”, “When will you be able to do that?”, “i need this and this done, which would you like to do first?”


By asking questions, young people feel they have control and options, we encourage them to take responsibility for themselves and at the end of the day, isn’t this what we want – young people who take responsibility for themselves.

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