"I just yell at him. I always end up shouting at him when he doesn't listen."
How would you respond if a father admitted this to you?
After I finished coaching my boxing session, I was packing my kit when I spotted someone whom I hadn't seen in over 2 years. I walked up, we greeted each other and I expressed my surprise for not seeing him for such a long time.
"Before, I was bringing my son here, but then he didn't want to do it because he found it really hard and he was refusing to come, so I stopped bringing him. "I just yell at him. I always end up shouting at him when he doesn't listen."
"Most kids find it hard at the start. My own son used to hate coming and he used to cry and make excuses all the time for not attending, but I did not let him quit. Instead, I assured him that I will always be here if he needs a hug and he can come a talk to me if he is struggling with something, but he cannot quit just because training is hard. Now he is one of the top wrestlers and top athletes in the gym", I explained.
This is something that I absolutely believe to my core. It's a fundamental pillar of my parenting philosophy. I do not believe that we as parents should let the kids quit something just because it's difficult and challenging and they are acting-up and offering resistance to engage with it.
"Yes, but this is not how I was brought up. I was brought up like this", he said making slapping motions in the air.
"I believe that it's our job to be better parents to our kids than our parents were to us. If we want our kids to be successful in this world, then it is up to us to us to be the best parents that we can be to them", I responded.
"Yes, I agree!" he said. His eyes had widened and a light had started to shine from within them.
"But we cannot let them quit anything just because it's hard. It will teach them that they can always just give up in life whenever they experience any adversity or discomfort. I believe that rather it is our job to actively expose them to adversity and challenges, whilst providing a caring and nurturing
environment so that our kids feel safe, which will then instil in them the self belief that they are able to manage discomfort, take on big challenges and overcome adversity." I was on a roll.
He was quiet for a moment, then he said, "You are absolutely right brother. It is about making them
On the drive back I asked my son, who is 9 years old, what he thought of the conversation since he was listening in. "That was right! You made me feel safe and now I can do everything." My heart melted, of course, but something also clicked in my mind.
How often do we focus on making others feel safe during our interactions?
How many times do we actively create a caring and nurturing environment where people around us can truly and openly express themselves?
When was the last time that we actively assured someone that we are going to be there for them whenever they need our love, care, help, support and service?
One of the biggest pieces of building deep authentic long term relationships via networking, that is often missed, is to make others feel safe. But how to we actually achieve this?
I believe that we can make others feel safe by always showing up from a place of Care, Value and Service. This is because by always coming from a place of Care, Value and Service, we prove to them our commitment to investing in the relationship. Words are cheap. I believe in taking action and providing actual concrete evidence, especially over the long term, of my commitment to them.
I wonder how our lives and business would be different if we always focused on making others feel safe by coming from a place of Care, Value and Service. I am curious to know your thoughts so please share them in the comments below.