Kenny could see that Paul wasn’t feeling very good. Paul and he were in the same ATA class and had been for about six months. They both liked classes, but today Kenny could see that Paul was down in the dumps.
Kenny remembered what Master Jouan had talked about in Leadership class about self-esteem a few weeks before, that smiling and a sincere compliment could help another feel better about themselves, so he decided to give it a try.
Kenny watched Paul for a few minutes and he saw how well he performed his kicks. In fact, Paul’s kicks were some of the best in the class. Kenny could see it was his chance to make an impact like Master Jouan had talked about.
Walking over to where Paul was practicing Kenny smiled at Paul and said hi. Paul looked up and at first his face was sour, but after seeing Kenny’s smiling face, his face also turned into a smile. He returned Kenny’s greeting and responded warmly.
Kenny didn’t know if what Master Jouan had said would work, but took a deep breath and decided to give it a try. “I was watching your kicks and wanted to let you know that they are some of the best in the class.”
There was a big smile on Paul’s face now. They went back to practicing and a few minutes later Kenny looked over at Paul who was practicing even harder, but with a big smile on his face. That brought a big smile to Kenny’s face too.
The names in this story have been changed, except for mine, and the scenario slightly altered. However, the message behind and interactions like these that we see in the Leaders that we build are 100% true. If you would like to turn your kid into a “Kenny” and get so much more out of your martial arts training let me know. We are now accepting parent recommendations for new Leadership team members for next testing cycle.
In the meantime, keep encouraging all of the positive personal values you see in your child immediately and add some details. Don’t wait to tell them about great things they’ve done or said and don’t be vague, giving specific praise will get them to do it again.