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Ordinary People Taking Action
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When Justin’s mom broke the news that she’d scheduled him a meeting with a life coach, he was skeptical. I’m 17! Why do I need a life coach? But he knew from experience that fighting Mom on this would be worse than sitting with a strange lady for ninety minutes.
Before his meeting, Justin painted a mental picture of the coach. He envisioned her super old, horribly dressed, managing to take already boring information and make it even less interesting, just like his third period history teacher.
Their meeting took place mid-morning at a local coffee shop. When Justin arrived, he was caught completely off guard. The coach wasn’t at all what he’d thought. For starters, she was way more “hip” looking than he’d imagined, and she actually seemed kind of fun.
Coaching kids, just like anything else I do, is all about relationships. And part of that is removing the preconceived notions that kids sometimes walk in with. Justin was surprised when he saw me. I wasn’t frumpy or boring looking like he’d imagined. While he was a little nervous, he seemed grateful that I offered to buy him a coffee and spent some time getting to know him. Getting to know him didn’t involve a stream of rapid fire questions, either. Rather than an interrogation, our conversation took a slower pace.
After about five minutes, I noticed Justin’s shoulders relax and he actually smiled and then laughed. We started our coaching session with several activities and Justin became genuinely interested. Our conversation was smooth. We took turns talking. Of course, I asked a lot of questions, but Justin seemed to truly enjoy our discussion. He was engaged. He made eye contact and didn’t glance at his watch or cell phone at all.
As we wrapped up, Justin said he couldn’t believe the ninety minutes were up. I smiled and said, “what’s that quote … time flies when you’re having fun?”
With a grin on his face, Justin replied, “Looking forward to our next meeting, see you next week!”
Arriving home, Justin couldn’t wait to tell his mom about his insightful conversation. He gave her the four-phrase recap, which is a lot of words for a 17-year-old boy. “Pretty cool. Good conversation. Learned a lot. I like her.”
Justin ran up to the bonus room to play Xbox with his friends. Justin’s mom smiled and reflected on the fact that sometimes, it’s someone else who needs to help our children figure things out.