My Three-Year-Old Coach

Three-year-old girl in pink playing with a laptop computer.. Shot with Canon 20D.

Three-year-old girl in pink playing with a laptop computer.. Shot with Canon 20D.

“Dang it.” I uttered as I struggled to get the screw to turn as I attempted to fix my mom’s cabinet door. I really wanted to say a cuss word, but I’ve cut that out, mostly! Plus my three year old niece was right by my side. She insisted on helping me get the job done.

If I needed a screwdriver, she handed it to me. If I needed more light, she pointed the flashlight in the right spot. After I grumbled about the screw giving me trouble, my little three year old coach said, “You can do it, Auntie Marlene. I know you can.” She had a serious look on her face and great conviction in her voice. This made me know that she believe with every fiber in her body that I could fix the door.

As I twisted in the small area to find the right tool, my niece would say, “Why don’t you try this one?” Sometimes it wasn’t what I wanted, but I smiled at her encouragement as she pulls out the tape measure. Other times, I would say I need the drill bit and she knew exactly what it was.

As I worked I thought that my niece has the skills to coach and encourage me. She didn’t need years of experience or a certificate to make suggestions to help me solve the problem. She is also very honest when something isn’t working well by saying, “Auntie Marlene, that’s not how it works.”

Oftentimes, folks have asked me to coach them in business . I only agree to do so, if I truly believe they were serious about applying my recommendations to move forward. If they appear not to be open to these recommendations, or have not made progress in getting certain tasks done, I’m not willing to take them on as a client.

The reason why I say my three year old niece is one of my coaches is that I didn’t dismiss her suggestions because of her age. I realize the value in her opinions and looking at the problem from a different angle. I value her honesty and her words of encouragement. I also know she has my best interest at heart.

2016 is less than a day away in this part of the world. If your are seeking a business coach or a personal coach, here a a few things I think work better with your coach:

  1. You should ensure that this person has your best interest at heart. Some folks care more about the money than your success. Surprised? A great coach would tell you whether you and they are a great fit or not.
  2. A coach should be encouraging while keeping it real. Like my niece, good coaches will let you know when they truly believe you can accomplish a task, or project. They can also be honest when things aren’t being done well and help you find a solution.
  3. You have to be open to receive constructive feedback and applying the recommended solution.

It was a joy to have my little niece believe in my abilities to get the job done. We both celebrated when the door was fixed. We danced to the song “Cheerleader” by Omi. I hope you are successful in finding the right coach to make 2016 an outstanding year. Happy New Year to you all.

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Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. She is currently member of the Public Relations Team. She provides her services to over 3800 members throughout the district. Marlene is the owner of Marlene M. Bryan, Corp and Small Biz Evolution, LLC. She is a Speaker, an Author and a Business Coach.

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