Who, What, When and Where?

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Questions ?? YES

If you are in a large group setting, do you ask questions? I am asking this question because my next question is this: When you were in school, did your teacher encourage you to ask questions? For some of us, it may take a little more time to reflect on the days of sitting in a classroom as a student, but take the time to think back. How were questions asked of you, and how did you ask questions?

Now think about how you approach questions if you are a teacher, a leader, a parent, a friend, or a spouse. How different are your approaches or reactions to questions in these roles?

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, written by Dr. Marilee Adams, tell us there are two mindsets the Judger and the Learner. Depending on the mindset we are in, this has a direct effect on the questions we ask ourselves and others.


As humans, we all have both of these mindsets at times. What is important is to identify when we have them and take time to change our questions to change the direction of the way we want to go.

Have you experienced negative self-talk before? “What was I thinking? How stupid was that of me to do?” When we have this judger mindset in our minds, we cannot focus on what we need to do to get our situation under control.

The importance of understanding these mindsets we all have is in learning how to balance them in life, how to identify when we are thinking, asking, relating or listening as a judger or a learner. In the workbook that goes along with the newly released 4th edition of Change your questions, Change your Life, you can complete a mindset check-in and work through the mindset identifications. It is a great piece and reflection time.


A child sitting in a classroom raises his hand to answer a question in class. All eyes turn to him. Inside he is asking himself, “Why did you raise your hand to answer the question? Everyone is looking at you, and if you get the answer wrong, they will all laugh.” The Judger has come out to pose questions before he has a chance to answer. He answers, and it is correct.

I talk a great deal about making efforts so that everyone feels good and safe where they are. Recognizing even at a young age, the mindsets of judger and learner are at work helps all of us know we need to help each other.

My Two Rules, everyone should feel good, and everyone should feel safe at school also needs to have two foundational pieces in the educational system: Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed practices. Every one of us has a story to tell, and our children have many to know before they arrive at school.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are the traumatic and negative experiences children have had, but the positives they encounter can counteract some, and strategies we teach can prevent additional trauma.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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