“I have to actually talk to him?
“Why can’t we just text?”
“What if they say no?”
We’ve all heard the excuses. Heck, we probably are all guilty of speaking them. Why on earth would we actually talk to someone when we could just text? You know, that’s why they created texting… it’s quicker and easier, right?!? And why ask a stranger for help? What if they say no? What if I get embarrassed? It’s probably easier to just not ask.
These days (and yes, I know… I sound like I’m 98 years old) kids don’t have to actually talk to people. They can send a text to ask a girl on a date. They can order a pizza through an app. They can even take all online classes to get through college. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in 20 years. But what I can imagine is that the ability to actually hold a conversation with someone will set people apart. Young adults who can look someone in the eye as they answer a question will land that dream job. Employees who can effectively communicate with others will achieve that coveted promotion. Couples who can sit up at night and talk about their day will turn into the 90-year-old couples who still love and laugh with each other.
We must talk. We must teach our kids how to talk. When I created Kids Boost, my primary goal was to help kids use their talents and passions to give back to the world. My secondary goal was to teach and encourage important life skills in real-life situations. You know, things like talking. So when I meet with a new Kids Booster, I explain that one of the requirements of Kids Boost is to talk. They must talk to their coach. Yep, on the phone and in person. They must talk to others to seek support of their mission. They may even have to talk to store managers to ask for donations. We talk about how it may be scary to talk to a stranger but if they believe in what they are doing, it will be worth it. They can either use their start-up money to buy snacks for a party or they can find the courage to ask for a donation from a grocery store. And what if they say no? What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s not because they hate kids or don’t want to help. It’s because they can’t help right now and it’s okay. As a coach, I ask kids to just try. Try once and see how it goes. Be brave and remember why you are doing what you are doing. People like to help people, especially children. It takes courage to ask for help. It takes courage to fail but it also takes courage to succeed!
I’ve never had a Kids Booster who asked for support, got denied and died. For that matter, no one has even been hurt it the process. Pretty amazing, right? But what I have seen is a Kids Booster who was nervous, overcame the fear and was bold enough to ask, be denied and try again. And guess what? They were successful! They built courage. They communicated. Two important things that will take them far in life!