“We can change how young people interact with each other and with their environment by providing opportunities for them to enhance their dignity,” says Victor Rios, a Sociology professor at UC Santa Barbara.
Rios was once a hard-core gang member. After turning his life around, getting an education and starting a family, he is now devoted to helping other youths make positive choices and turn their lives around.
How did he do it? A better question is, “Why did he do it?” Rios says it was because one time when he was breaking the law, a police officer engaged him in a conversation instead of busting him. “He kindly wheedled my story out of me, and then got me to decide turn my life around.” (click here for the article)
With curiosity, feedback and recommendations, that police officer was coaching him. A good coach is able to activate an appetite in the player…an appetite for a new experience. Whatever new experience the player hungers for is an instinctive drive (or you could call it curiosity) that will compel him or her to take action. If there is no action after a coaching interview, chances are it was not conducted on the premise of kindness and dignity.
To be a coach, you must become a master at creating an environment of acceptance. If you want to inspire people to make positive change, you must accept their flaws, and even laugh with joy about them, before you can begin to activate their instinctive desire to change.
It is also true for yourself. You must accept the things you don’t like about yourself, if you ever want to change them. Whatever the bad habit, you must first embrace and enjoy it. To borrow a play from Rios’ playbook, first, find a kind and dignified way to interact with your environment (and yourself). Then, you can allow yourself f to find your “why”…let your curiosity lead you to change.
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