I’m a better “aunt” than “mom” …when it comes to other people’s kids, that is.
Allow me to offer some context.
Training Kansas City Youth is my skill; ongoing opportunities and supports are not.
Over the years, I have developed a great reputation for delivering engaging, effective and fun True Colors training in Kansas City.
I’ve trained the gamete – young, old and everything in between.
But, I recognized a long time ago that I am better with adults than I am with young people. Don’t get me wrong. I love young people. I love training them, but I’m not as skilled as the thousands of youth workers (or youth professionals) out there doing youth development’s “heavy lifting” day in and day out. There is a science to what they do. There are attributes associated with what they do.
So, I’ve concluded that I’m just more fun as the cool “aunt” [that comes to visit, gives lots of gifts and then moves on] than I am as the youth professional that “does life” with the kids.
Youth workers really are the cornerstone of a thriving community.Youth workers are in every city, every town, offering opportunities, patiently listening while… Click To Tweet
Personally speaking, youth workers are not a big part of my clientele, but they are a very special part of it, nonetheless. Something inside me awakens when I have an opportunity to train them or work with their young people.
Recently, I had such a chance to train a group of Kansas City young people on the beautiful MCC – Penn Valley campus.
Remember, I’m the fun “aunt” that swoops in,
teaches some great skills and entrusts
the real professionals to finish the work.
The training focused on making great first impressions, communicating one’s thoughts effectively and how to behave in professional and social settings (i.e.networking). It was an abbreviated version of my ImageFirst(tm) workshop.
However, ImageFirst takes a deeper dive.
It guides young people toward choosing careers that perfectly align with their interests and innate talents. This information is paramount in selecting a career, major or occupation that will be rewarding and fulfilling for years to come.
I wish I had that sort of information about myself early on. Always a good communicator, it took years for me to become an effective communicator. Plus, I didn’t leave school workplace ready. Thank God for the informal mentors who coached me before coaching was even a “thing”.
Anyhoo, did you know workforce readiness is cited among employers’ primary concerns for new workers? Chief among their concerns is the inability of some to function within a team. Poor communication skills were also listed as a concern (see my source below).
My ImageFirst workshop addresses two of these concerns head-on by guiding teens toward:
- effective/concise communication that gets them noticed in a good way and garners respect (putting your best foot forward)
- navigating a variety of social audiences and situations (social navigation)
- learning to maximize one’s own gifts while contributing to the team (being the best “you” you can be)
I’ve done this workshop for both youth and adult audiences. I enjoy most facilitating it with young people. They absorb it like a sponge. I was asked to facilitate this module by my friend, Crystal Nance. It was a joy to work with her teens. Bright things are definitely ahead for them all – the organization and the young people.
Well, hats off to all the youth professionals in Kansas City and beyond. You’re doing meaningful work and we appreciate you.
Source: “Employers: After-school Can Improve Workforce Readiness”