Coaching? You got to be kidding..

Looking back in time, last 6 years have been amazingly wonderful. During this time  I have seen my 2 kids grow and mature as I continue to grown with them. Time spent with the kids has always been the biggest stress buster. Whether it was watching them smile while taking those short naps to reading their first story or wanting all my attention as soon as I got home at the end of the day.

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As I think through how they have grown, I see a lot of similarities between bringing up kids and coaching teams. My parenting journey has helped me develop myself to fit into the coach role. With kids, coaching begins the moment a child starts to identify you as someone who they can trust and someone who is there to make their tomorrow better. Here are some key activities that I think have helped me enhance my coaching skills:

  • There was a time when they would just listen. They would just wait to get instructions and follow. It was up to me as a father to ensure that they were engaged and watching as I worked towards building a strong foundation.
  •  As they continued to grow, we celebrated every single achievement and guided them to overcome failures.
  • Come the age of 2 to 3, they started to explore. Explore ways of doing things differently without caring too much about the end result. I was happy to let them explore but made sure that they stayed within the boundaries and principles.
  • And there were those off days when they just refused to listen.  That was the time when punishing was not an option. I had to be patient, wait for them to settle down and then have a one on one discussion. The discussion was retrospective of what should or should not be done.
  • As I walk this wonderful journey of brining up my kids, as a parent I continue to provide constant feedback so that these basics principles of life are constantly reinforced.

My daughter Nehmat is now 6 years and she is one self sufficient kid. There are times when I need to get back to my coaching role as she continues to grow but I guess this is one assignment where I won’t mind being involved for the next few years.

My son Arjit is 3 and needs constant coaching. My coaching with him is in the “Storming” phase where there are more disagreements as we continue to work towards his next stage of maturity.

I am sure there are coaches out there without kids or who are not great fans of kids, this is just a glimpse of my life with my wonderful kids. They continue to challenge me each day with their thinking and that pushes me hard to continue learning and improving.

I am a Sikh

As I walked out of my office building for a short break, I saw this small Asian guy (looked like a Korean or Japanese to me) looking at me with a big question mark on his face. I could figure out that it was my look that had him wonder if I belonged to this planet. Looking at his uniform, I could make out that he worked for the local housekeeping contractor.

Next, I walk up to him and say “Hello”, his first reaction was to point at my turban and ask “What is that and why do you wear it?”. I give him a smile and said “I am a Sikh”. He tried to pronounce it a couple of time and got it just right on his fourth try. We shook hands and I ask him for a quick chat. He looked at his watch trying to ensure that he was not ignoring any planned housekeeping tasks, and agreed to join me.

As we stood out side on a rather chili afternoon with me sipping into my hot cup of coffee, he kept staring at me as I shared more details about Sikhism including a little bit of history and culture and most interestingly for him, my looks. As I shared with him the rationale behind keeping my hair uncut and wearing a colorful turban, he for some reason kept going back to the hair imagining how difficult it would be to manage this look.

As he decided to go back to work (still having the same look that he had 10 minutes ago), we gave each other a hug and said “Good Bye”.

I see him every day and our bond seems to get stronger each day. He greets me each morning trying hard to pronounce my name but he does say “Sikh” pretty well and that brings a sense of pride and a smile on my face.

As you read this post, I request you to take a few minutes to read about Sikhism here. We are all about peace, love and service to humanity.

And to my new found friend John, we are from the same planet and this is we 🙂

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