A Coaching Power Tool Created by Faten Salama
(Teenagers and Youth coach, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Before I start my professional career as a cabin crew, I worked part-time as a science teacher in a high school, during this period I noticed that the gap between a generation and another matter a lot. I remember when I used to listen to every parent who came to complain about an issue with their son or daughter in the school.
As a very people person, I decided to read about teenagers’ psychology, because one of my life slogans is ‘’be the change that you want to see in the world’’ said Gandhi. I decided to see a change in those students by getting closer to them.
Because being a cabin crew was my dream job, I decided to travel to another country working with an international airline, during these 6 years my eyes were opened to each country I visited, with every family I met on board who are traveling with teens, how much ups and downs, how big the gap between parents and teens is getting, especially with the penetration of the social media and technology to the teen’s life.
Even while reading this paper now, you may think of a family you know, or it could be even yourself who have teenagers around facing life issues and in a need of a coach.
After moving to the training and development, when I became a professional corporate trainer, it happened that one of the universities in the UAE called me to deliver a class for the new students who just finished their high school as a facilitation class to the university life, and how to work in your personal development during this class I noticed that those students didn’t need me to talk, they needed me more to listen and this was when I decided to join the ICA and professionally listen to them.
Being a coach who is dealing mainly with teenagers and youth, I faced the challenge of them always being judged by parents, society family, etc, so my main goal in every single discovery session was ‘’how I will change their judgment perception towards me to a resilience” how I will melt and break the ice to have a successful coaching journey?
Since I live in the middle east their confusion still there between a life coach, therapist, and psychologist. Especially for parents who would seek help only when the situation has reached the peak between them and their son/daughter. In which I formed my blended model between my original background as a trainer who will explain to the parents what is coaching etc, and a coach who isn’t a spy, who doesn’t judge, who accepts you the way you are as long as you are a coachable person and there is no life-threatening matter is involved.
One of the aids that helped me in empowering my tool was the TV shows where I’m a guest on it, along with my social media pages, where I focused mainly on all aspects related to teenagers and youth, my goal since then was to reframe the perspective of the parents about having a coach to their son/daughter. and gaining the trust from their son/ or daughter during the process by mainly being a resilient person not judgmental as how they see us (as adults) in their underlying beliefs.
(Placeholder1)“A teenager, or teen, is a person who falls within the ages of 13 to 19 years old. The word “teenager” is often associated with adolescence.”
However the World Health Organization considers anyone between the ages of 10 and 21 to be an adolescent, and most neurologists consider the brain still developing into the early third decade (the early 20s). After the 20th birthday, one is no longer a teenager. However, neural plasticity continues, as the brain and particularly the prefrontal cortex (PFC) develop further.
According to the above definition, the teenagers’ age neurologically can go up to 21 years old, during this period where they are not children anymore, however, their brain and way of thinking and life approach is not an adult.
Judging a person doesn’t define who they are, it defines who you are-Amy Rees Anderson
While most of the teenagers most complain is being judged, in fact, they are the ones who mostly judge which makes the situation more significant with their family.
Facing two different kinds of judgment, either they judge themselves, overwhelming the situation by deeply following an inner critic that tells them that they can’t reach anywhere, we will not be able to achieve our dream, I don’t study what I love, I don’t have good relationships with my friends, etc where I use the below powerful questions:
- What makes you judge yourself.
- Visualize for me the best outcome or goal, close your eyes, and describe it
- What is holding you back from achieving this goal?
- What are the skills that you have that will help you to achieve your goal?
- Who may help you to be committed to your next step?
By answering these questions, we are moving to the resilience tool in accepting ourselves and use the power of self-compassion in where we accept ourselves the way we are, accept all the ups and downs in life, and accept the contradictions that are happening inside our body which is more than normal during this stage of their lives as teenagers.
The importance of being resilient during the coaching journey is very essential, as it will help my clients to be stronger as well as being able to overcome any difficulty that they might face. However, some individuals are different from others when it comes to their level of resilience as it involves many other factors such as their behaviors, believes, past experiences, and their welling’s to change. i.e. ( this is the most common example that I always use while coaching both individuals and groups), if we all go to the gym at the same time, doing some kind of classes or workout, will we all get the same body shape and muscle? No, as many other factors define the results like our lifestyle, the kind of food we eat, the sleeping hours.
During the application, clients must be responsible for the shift, due to the challenge that most of the coaches here in the middle east face, where our clients will keep on asking us for solutions, it is mandatory for me to highlight the fact that we coaches don’t tell, during the coaching process we coach and you play.
So, during the resilience application, and according to the American psychological association, we need to build 4 main pillars which are positive relationships, wellbeing, life meaning, and positive thoughts. In which my customers need to figure out the importance of these factors in their life and how essential they are to anchor their life and be more stable. (as I deal mainly with teens who are keeping on changing their mind and session goals frequently).
Referring to what all neurologists agreed that the brain of young adults will keep in growing till early 20th, I believe that till that age it’s still doable to build the resilience approach that will make their mind more strong, it will enable them to be able to adapt easily with any life challenges that they will definitely face during their life path.
During my coaching sessions with them, to apply resilience, I ask my client to draw a circle where he put himself inside surrounding himself with what he can control inside this circle, and what he can’t control out of the circle. By doing this the picture becomes more clear on them to focus on one thing at a time while applying resilience will switch their mindset to be more positive in accepting the life challenges and think about what they can control.
Not only with teenagers and young adults but also with parents when applying resilience, parents need to value how important it is to be resilient while parenting. This remarkable tool will make their parenting journey much easier and successful. Resilience will help parents to be more purposeful, it will also reduce the level of anxiety and stress while having difficulties and arguments with their sons or daughters during this critical period of teenagers.
The questions that I mainly use with parents to let them build the resilience approach are like:
- In your relationship with your son/daughter, what can you control?
- What kind of value in their life do you think you have?
- What else more can you do for them?
- What do you do good for both of you and them?
- What is the most challenging that you currently face?
- How can you overcome it?
- How flexible you are in accepting your son’s/daughter’s comment or feedback?
- What is half full of your glass in this relationship?
By answering these questions, will be able to dig deeper in their mind make them self-aware about themselves, and give them the chance to look at the situation from a different perspective as well as knowing the strengths that will help them to overcome any challenges.
Resilience Is the ability of each of us to bounce back stronger, wiser and more personally powerful_ Nan Henderson.