Do you find yourself asking the why question a lot? Why did you do that? Why haven’t you cleaned your teeth? Why did you slam the door? Why didn’t you finish your homework? Why didn’t you come home when we agreed?
Ever wonder why the why question is the wrong question to ask?
Well first, it’s a processing question. One that asks us to make SENSE of our behaviour. And often in the moment when we are being asked that question we are not connected to the logical part of our brain that deals with REASON and making sense of things. We are most often in our emotional brains, FEELING things.
And second - well it just sounds ACCUSATORY - and that gets people’s backs up - on the defensive - shutting down the will to listen and connect.
So in restorative practice, whether it’s schools, communities, parenting, relationships, the workplace - wherever - we ask a different set of questions.
A set of questions which CONNECT the right side (EMOTIONAL brain) with the left side (LOGICAL brain) and help people to communicate the REASONING behind what happened. And because it is done in neutral non blaming or shaming language - it OPENS UP communication, perspective and the opportunity to repair and learn. It’s just lovely!!!
LJ Sayers is a restorative practitioner, trainer and consultant, living in Northern Ireland. She is a wife to JP (her rock), a mum to J (her reason and purpose), a Covid Redundant Hugger, Storyteller and Chief Quality Controller of all chocolate in her household.