Just a little food for thought this morning. A great one for the younger fans of the page. This one is for the next generation getting ready to start their professional path and are looking to get noticed in a saturated market. Here’s a hint. It’s pretty easy to get noticed. Just “Be better” than the competition.
Having one of your generation as a son, it’s crazy to me to see just how far into the realm of uncomfortable it is to just “not be the norm.” Why would you ever be OK with average and when has it become OK to settle for average. Yet, I think its a tendency for you guys as a whole. I work on your age as my specialty. I see it in my clinic every day. Even for the guys and girls that accel at being much better than average on the court or field.
“Be better and know your audience!”
would be a great alternative title for this episode. Here’s a great tip on how to do that. Practice talking to adults. Get to know them. Respect and acknowledge that they have a little different way of seeing things, even when you are seeing the exact same thing.
The ability to have a decent conversation with an adult and not be embarrassed and weird. Work on that. I asked my kids if they talk to the security police officer at school each day.
“I say Hi.”
“What is her name??” I asked.
“I’m not sure. I never really talked with her before.”
“Today, just for practice, as well as because it’s a nice thing to do, why don’t you make a point to introduce yourself, and just ask her name…you’re going to see her every single day this year, you should know her name, and she will then know yours.”
No chance. It’s uncomfortable. Their friends aren’t going to do that or even might laugh at them for doing it and…it takes nerve and practice.
We, as adults, forget just how hard this is the first few times. It gets easy with practice, but man, it IS awkward, especially the first few times. Yet, knowing that- By the end of the week we all know that it would be at the stage of “high Fives and shouts across the cafeteria.” They would have a relationship with that officer and She would remember my kids as well. It’s not phony, its genuine and fun. It keeps you from being bored and makes the officer’s day better too. Dammit guys, it’s human.
My oldest had a question for me about football today. I answered it, but I told him an even better answer would come from his receivers coach after practice one day. I gave him a script that an adult would like to hear. “Hey coach, have you got two minutes? I have a question about this. I’d like a little more clarification and even your ideas on how to work on this at home.”
- “Nah, dad, I’m good.” Maybe. But not as good as you could be with just a tiny amount of effort. I mean, this is the kid that taught me “accelerated learning” and how to get 5 hours of trial and error eliminated from a 6 minute YouTube video, and he won’t have a conversation with a guy he already knows and sees every day to accomplish something he needs in literally seconds. And I get it. I truly do. My dad and all his friends were coaches, and despite that, I never really had a genuine relationship with any of my college coaches. Never had one I would feel I was friends with. And that hurts. My teammates tell stories of how they had this talk with coaches while we played, and they were true friends or almost a second dad. I never had that. I couldn’t talk to them that way. Still, to this day, I’m not sure what they think about me. It certainly slowed my development as an athlete. I was just “different around coaches and professors” at that point. I was the way I see my kids right now. So I want to help speed this up. It’s an ineffective way of communicating things, and there is no bond.
Guys -You are the text, TikTok and Snap generation. You love quick, bite sized chunks of information. But you have to understand this!
A face to face conversation literally relays a billion times more information much more efficiently and faster!
This ability to form relationships and exchange information seamlessly is VERY critical in your ability to function in society outside of school. Especially with people NOT YOUR AGE. I’m not the guy that is going to call society outside of school, “the real world.” You guys are living in your own real world. High school, college, homecoming dances, getting dumped, Friday night games, band practice until dark – that’s YOUR real world. But, there are other worlds going on out there on Planet Earth. You need this ability to “gel” so bad and as a guy that works on your age clients all day every day for the last two decades…It’s getting worse. You need this!
As a sports based chiropractor I have approximately 12 seconds to get on some version of comfortable and familiar with a new patient and I practice this skill 6-7x per day. It’s automatic and I’m very good at it. But like learning to play soccer. It takes practice.
Here’s another one that will affect your potential employment.
Let’s play a game.
Its called, “Who would Chad hire?”
I have 2 potential employees. They are both interns. One is more skilled and is way ahead of the game as far as what I need to teach him to be a therapy assistant for me. He dresses a bit more professionally, too; he just looks the part.
The other, I just caught doing the dishes in the back room without being asked. She does lots of little things like this. Picks up little scraps of paper that are on the ground. Folds towels and stacks them nice. She cares about the look and feel of the clinic. She sees the clinic in a way that mirrors that first impression a client would have while walking into a room the first time.
So who would I hire?
Look, I don’t have an answer here for you…Well, actually, I do. I hired one of them. But I’m not telling unless you ask. This article isn’t about what I did anyway. The point is despite one of them having better skills for what I need, it’s a tough decision. I can teach “skills.” I can offer suggestions about what to wear to the clinic. I’m not sure I can train “hustle and caring.” I think the guy stepping over the scraps of paper and not seeing the wrinkled towels is most likely thinking, “It’s not my clinic.”
This ep. It is about you, the 14-26-year-old. It’s about seeing things differently than how your brain perceives the world. It’s all about the awareness that each of us lives in our own universe and how just understanding what someone else is looking for, their preferences, and their generational norms help you forge relationships at a much better level than expecting everyone around you to bend their style to you. You have youth, skill, drive, and a million other tangible. What you don’t have is experience. What I’m saying is that there is a shortcut to that. Communicate and learn.
Asking questions is a surefire way to start the conversation; EVERYBODY wants to share what they know and how they see things!
I interact with patients in my own way. It’s my clinic so I have a style that represents what I want in a sports performance and injury clinic. I set that. The music, the setup and rooms, the techniques. That being said, I interact differently with nearly everyone of my clients. It’s not brown nosing or sugar coating- it’s simply an awareness that a Vietnam vet that has seen hell is going to have a different perception and preference than a 20 year old trying out for the MLB. A 45 year old, stay at home mom that is jacked and in tights and a tank top is going to interact differently that a secretary at a Industrial tire shop that hasn’t worked out for 20 years.
Get this. Look for clues and get good and interacting with other humans outside of your personal group and space. I remember what high school and college was like. I wish I would have had this lesson earlier than I did. It would have been true accelerated learning.