Holding you to a higher Standard
As a martial art teacher I have always taught my students this saying “hold yourself to a higher standard then others would hold you.” Although this is easy to say, it is quite difficult to live up to the standard that most students/parents in our schools hold us. Have you ever been out to dinner and someone you just met finds out you’re a martial art instructor? Their first comment is something silly like “Oh – don’t kick my butt” or “I would like to have you with me in a dark alley.” These comments show that immediately upon hearing you are a black belt or a martial artist, they hold you to what their vision of black belt is.
Just recently through the grapevine I heard one of the mom’s of a student who hasn’t trained with me in a while is mad at me and talking negatively about my school. I thought this family left on great terms, in fact, I thought that I had a great repoire with the mother, father and son when they left. It was saddening to me to hear they no longer thought highly of me. This to me is very upsetting. One – because I have the undying desire to make everyone like me, we can talk about that another time. Two – I do my best to make sure all students leave on a good note.
This mom’s child was very de motivated. We did the typical re-motivation campaign, high fives in class, demonstrator and focus on the child; we gave private lessons to find out what the sticking point was and also had private conversations with the parents. When they finally decided to stop, I said my favorite saying which sometimes gets me in trouble “behind every de motivated child is a de motivated parent.” Now of course I do not just say that, but I say it and explain it. Here is my take, while a parent is 100% behind our program, they will stop at nothing to get the child to come to class. They would bring them kicking and screaming. They buy into the benefits and believe in all we do. When the child wears the parent down, they then start losing motivation and eventually throw their hands in the air and say, I am going to allow my child to quit. They may say, many clichés such as “it may not be his thing, I don’t want to force him to do something he doesn’t like” Etc..
All of this is not really relevant because in three months, most probably their entire mindset will have changed and they will have made it through the sticking point. With this particular parent, I made a statement and clearly explained myself, but she shut me off after the statement right before the explanation. Some how she was offended, she held me to a higher standard.
My thoughts are do people think we are superhuman, incapable of mistakes, so much so that one little mishap, they hold us to a standard and put us in a position where they get much more angry then they would with someone else. My answer is a resounding yes. My suggestion is be very careful with what you say, because a simple good morning from you, means much more then the average everyday person. You are the Black Belt the one they would want to protect them in that dark alley. They think of you as superhuman, rather then just a great person or an amazing teacher.