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The Trainer's Dilemma

Fascination vs. Fear

Two ways to motivate learners


ignites curiosity

           fear stifles it

Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
James Stephens


 definition: the state of feeling an intense interest in something.

synonyms: allure, appeal, attractiveness, captivation, enchantment

If you are seeing something for the first time, one of your first reactions should be fascination. - Sushant Singh Rajput


definition: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. anxious concern.

synonyms: worry, fret, stress, sweat

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.
- Karl Augustus Menninger

Both fear and fascination think, "What if?"
However, one leans away from seeming impossibilities while the other inclines itself toward possibilities.


I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. - Albert Einstein


Gather around the fire 
Learning is about gathering the learners around the fire of the subject with the subject being the center of focus and attention. Much can be considered around a warm fire.

Questions are more powerful than answers 
It's not about what needs to be known but rather, what needs to be discovered and for that, we begin with by asking questions.

Puzzles may be fun but can easily become boring. Mysteries, on the other hand, intrigue and motivate us.


The Art of Powerful Questions

How? Why?

"How" questions are deeper than "what" questions but are not as deep as "why" questions. The more powerful question is "Why?" Answering why questions requires deeper thought.

For example, "How are you?" is easier to answer than "Why are you?" (as in, why do you exist?).

Who? What? When? Where?

These are the easy questions to answer. They can be used to prepare the audience for more powerful questions but should not be the only questions asked.

Of course, this is what the students think they need to be able to answer for the test, right? But actually, we should grade them on the quality of their questions more than their answers.

Critical Thinking is Curious Thinking

Because Critical thinkers withhold judgment until all the facts within reason are understood.


Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. - Voltaire

How can we increase our

Eight habits of curious people...

1. They listen without judgment
2. They ask lots of questions
3. They seek surprise
4. They're fully present (not looking at their phone)
5. They're willing to be wrong
6. They make time for curiosity (question their assumptions)
7. They aren't afraid to say, "I don't know"
8. They don't let past hurts affect their future

Trainer's Dilemma

Email: dallasm_@_me_dot_com