So I am having a bit of a dilemma. I have been working with failing students for years and implemented various successful intervention strategies. Yes, these were informed by my knowledge of pedagogy, developmental, and social psychology, and having worked with troubled children and young adults since I was 16.

So far so good.

Now a colleague asked me, if what I did is transferable and I self-assuredly said of course. My partner laughed at me saying that the skills I have are not transferable, I still remain they are but have been thinking a lot about what it actually is I do when meeting students for 1-2-1 sessions.

Now. I pray.

Before someone comes to see me I focus for a moment, empty my head, my emotions. I basically take a step back, away from ego, and ask for guidance, the ability to offer the best advice possible.

Praying is not a scientific method. Working in higher education I can’t say I pray.

So what else is it then?

Creating room to be entirely in the moment, with the other person. Having emptied my thoughts and my feelings there is space to observe, to take in, to listen, to watch for minute changes in body language. And based on these observations my knowledge in action kicks in and I advice based on this. Students often would respond: that’s exactly what my psychologist/counsellor said.

My answer: and are you doing it?

What stops you?

How can we work on strategies?

I am not a counsellor, or psychologist. I just coach and mentor.

And I pray.

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