185 - The Wrong Question to Ask Students

Posted April 23, 2021 by Mark Perna

Episode: 185

Episode Title: The Wrong Question to Ask Students

What are you passionate about? Most students don’t have a good answer to this question. Here’s why, coming up next on the Syndicate.

 

Ep 185 show:

Welcome to The Perna Syndicate! When we talk about careers with young people, one of the first things we often ask is, “what are you passionate about?” I’m convinced this is the wrong question. Here’s why. 

 

Being passionate about something implies a serious commitment that many young people are hesitant to make. When we ask kids what they’re passionate about, most of them probably think in their head, “I’m passionate about you not asking me what I’m passionate about.” 

 

But young people do have interests—things that have caught their eye. That’s what we need to talk about. Instead of asking what they’re passionate about, a better question might be, What do you love to do? And another: what do you do well? Their answers reveals their interest. 

 

Passion is a journey, something that is built up over time as you pursue the things you’re interested in. To follow their interest, students will start working on the academic, technical, and professional skills to do it. Over time, the skills lead to success. This feels rewarding and motivates them to take more steps forward. 

 

They start succeeding, they get confidence, and that feeds passion. Passion is where grit lives, to keep stepping forward when things get challenging. It allows them to adapt and overcome because the passion has become so strong.

 

So let’s not ask them what they’re passionate about. What do you love to do, and what do you do well? Their interests today are the key to unlock their future passion. 

 

Thanks for listening to the Syndicate this week. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more insights on the younger generations. See you next week!


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Mark Perna
Mark C. Perna is an international speaker and bestselling author. He also serves as CEO of TFS Results, a strategic consulting firm at the forefront of the national paradigm shift in education and workforce development.
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