How do you approach helping others? How do you know when others want or need help? What does it mean to be a leader?
These are all questions that the participants get asked through their time in First Tee – Silicon Valley. As participants progress through the program, they learn lessons which reinforce courtesy, build a process for making informed decisions, develop collaborative communication skills, and encourage the practice of learning through listening and asking questions.
One of the sincerest forms of respect is actually listening to what another person has to say. Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, empathy over ego, and others over self.
ALR (Ask, Listen, Respond) is a core lesson taught in the Par level which teaches the importance of listening. It is a communication tool that encourages asking open-ended questions with the intent of fully understanding. To be successful with a conversation one must let the “A” and “L” drive the responses, and from a coach’s perspective, drive the advice that is given. Being a leader and showing up for others does not necessarily mean telling people what to do, but instead it is knowing when to listen and how to ask questions.
We are fortunate to have around 45% of our volunteer coaches come from our program and want to give back as a coach/mentor. Our junior coaches and alumni are able to use the tools they learned to make an impact, but as activist and author Marge Piercy says, “if you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.”
Showing up for others includes more than coaching and giving back, it can be demonstrated by anyone with the willingness to build a connection, be a teammate, and make a friend. Over 74% of participants in our most recent survey said they made friends and 89% felt part of the group. We can show up for others and help them show up for others by continuing to work towards an environment where everyone feels encouraged to support one another and be part of the group.