“Have a good day” ~ I would venture to guess that on several occasions all of us have been wished a “Good day” by many of the people that we encounter as we go through our everyday routines. It is one of those social graces that rolls off our tongues as quickly as the automatic response of “Thanks”. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we make eye contact during this exchange. But all too often the words are spoken without any deviation from our intended task ~ walking on route to a meeting, packaging groceries in the check-out line, etc ~ nor any intention of actually engaging in a conversation.
But all that changed the other day as I was purchasing a gift for a friend at a local specialty store. The friendly clerk first apologized for the very short wait, sharing that she was excited about unloading a fresh stock of product. As the monetary transaction was being finalized and the receipt was being discharged from the credit card machine, I was pleasantly taken aback as the sales clerk added two simple words to the automatic social phrase of “Have a good day” and cheerfully asked, “Did you have a good day?” The addition of those two words was all it took for us to engage in a conversation and to have a lasting effect on me ~ enough to inspire this blog! There was such power in the simple change from a statement to a question.
A question is the impetus to a culture of curiosity. I can’t help but wonder if more of our classrooms were filled with more open ended questions than statements, would our students be more engaged in spontaneous conversations. Conversations that would lead them to wanting to know more, wanting to learn more. Too often a statement is a done deal, whereas a well-positioned question has the ability for both parties (the giver and the receiver) to learn more from each other.
As you venture into another week, I challenge you (as I’m going to challenge myself) to take the opportunity to transform a statement into a question and see the impact.
Come write with me…..