I always got a great kick out of telling my kids as they were growing up that I had my first paying job at the age of 11. I’m sure my employer at the time would be arrested today for child exploitation. For me, it was a fantastic experience, one from which I still draw learnings today. As a result I learned at an early age what EMPOWERMENT and TRUST feel like. I experienced at first hand the positive impact of being encouraged to ‘give it a go’. Don’t underestimate the impact you can have on others whether they be your offspring or work colleagues. We can all have this impact on people with whom we interact every day.
Don’t worry I’ll be there to support you.
What I don’t always acknowledge in telling my story is that when the shop owner called to ask for my services, I had to be persuaded. I wasn’t sure I could do the job or if I could fit it in between football and climbing trees. The job was to work in our next-door neighbour’s shop in Mullingar. It was one of those country town shops that sold everything from groceries and hand-cut ham, to paraffin oil and petrol. Imagine the challenges of keeping your hands clean never mind calculating bills and change in pounds, shillings and pence. Empowerment and trust was the key to the persuasive effort, the reassuring statement being ‘I know you can do it and don’t worry I’ll be there to support you’.
I trust that you can do it
On reflection this was the first time I was headhunted. It was all very exciting and to be fair my agent, my Dad, negotiated an attractive rate for me :). I did however need to ask the question of them both if they were sure I would be able to do the job. It was an innocent and uninhibited question because at that early age I didn’t know my limits. The reassurance I got from both was enough to convince me that whatever doubts I had myself I had their trust and was empowered to give it a go.
I enjoyed the job from the first moments. I was meeting lots of people, serving their shopping needs and has trusted with responsibility well beyond what my experience warranted at that time. That job gave me great self-confidence particularly in my ability to be able to relate to people. A little claim to fame that I have is that one of my petrol customers was the one and only Joe Dolan. It was only a few hours a week but the excitement of getting paid for such a fun experience was incredible. Being able to walk up the town with my first month’s earnings and cycle home after buying my first new bike, an Eska, was the ultimate reward for giving it a go.
Empower, encourage and support someone today to ‘to give it a go’.
When I think of this experience, I am so glad my Dad and the shop owner next door encouraged, empowered and trusted me to ‘give it a go’. They gave me the support I needed to succeed at that early age. Even when there were a few glitches along the way, there was no blame but rather encouragement to learn for the next time. That early empowerment and trust experience left a lasting legacy. I’ve retained most of that ‘give it a go’ mentality. These days I’d like to think I encourage and support others to ‘give it a go’.
Our panel of coaches and mentors at The Grey Matters Network help people and teams at all levels to fulfill their goals every day. Why not give us a shout and see how we can help you or your team to ‘give it a go’. https://www.thegreymattersnetwork.com/contact-us/
Tony Devine, Partner, The Grey Matters Network.