I need to be reminded of things on a pretty regular basis. Drives my ‘better half’ nuts sometimes because she has a near photographic memory. Reads something once and it’s locked in. Not me. I’m a list-maker. Sometimes, I think, if I didn’t keep lists of everything I need to do everyday, I’d get lost wandering the mall and my ladies would have to send out a St. Bernard search dog to locate me. It’d work as long as the little barrel around the dog’s neck has bourbon in it.
The need to remind me of things might also result from sharing my living quarters with four females, all four of whom think they know more and know better than do I. It’s a fact of life I’ve learned to deal with. But I’m not going to tell that to them. It’s bad enough I blame them for my shiny hairstyle. Course, that saves the family money because I don’t require any hair care products. I sacrifice for the good of the cause.
But I learned a valuable lesson a couple years ago when I was working on my book, Final Four Leadership, http://www.davidfsalter.com I was recently reminded that I need to continue to utilize this lesson when it comes to my relationships with my daughters.
One of the questions I asked all of the coaches that I interviewed was how they dealt with team rules and with knowing how to motivate and criticize their players.
North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell was, what most writers would call, a ‘good get.’ She is a veteran coach who’s well respected by her peers and she’s won national championships and a bunch of other hardware most coaches would like to have.
Over lunch at Sutton’s Drug Store on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill, Coach Hatchell spent a good deal of time explaining to me how she establishes relationships with her players in order to motivate them and to get the best out of them. She took time to provide to me a number of examples on how she’d dealt with players, both past and current. I was amazed by the amount of time she takes, every season, to get to know her players well beyond how well they can shoot, dribble and defend.
The important lesson that I learned from her is that every player she coaches accepts criticism in a different way. Every player wants to be rewarded in a different way. Some players can be screamed at in front of the group. Someplayers need to be called into the office with the door closed. Some players want a pat on the back everyday, other players might need a positive word once a month. She then recommended to me a couple of books, which I purchased and read right away. One book was recommended to strengthen the relationship I have with my wife, and the other (by same author) was to strengthen the relationships I have with my daughters.
The critical part of the message to me was that the rules are the rules for every member of the team (or family, as it were). Every member of the team has to be at practice at the same time; every member of the team is expected to sit in the first three rows of class or it’s considered an absence; every member of the team is expected to say NO to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. If you violate team rules, there are consequences.
But team rules are different from how Hatchell relates to her players on a personal level. She has a process she uses (and shared with me) to determine how she handles criticizing and praising her players.
After returning from Chapel Hill, and after reading the books coach Hatchell recommended to me, I realized that each of my daughters is different. You see, intellectually, Dads understand that fact (most of them anyway). Taking action on that thought is a whole different story.
One daughter needs complete silence when she’s doing school work, another has her iPod in her ears, the third might have the television on for background noise. One daughter likes it when I spend one-on-one time with her and share whatever wisdom I might have that applies to her situation. Another daughter hates it when I get ‘all serious’ on her with my worldly wisdom (I think I mentioned in my previous post that all four of my women question whether or not I’m wise or worldly). One daughter likes it when I write her personal notes in her lunch box or tuck under her pillow. You get the idea.
So the house rules are still the same for all three. No cell phone until you’re in 8th grade. Curfew is the same for everyone (and it moves with age). Academics come before any other ‘stuff,’ and we expect the academic grades to be of the highest standard possible for that particular daughter (which is also different for each of the three). Respect your teachers and coaches as you would your grandmother and grandfather (kids seem to respect grandparents more than they do Mom and Dad, maybe it’s the monetary gifts).
But I still have to remember that aside from the house rules, my relationship with each of my daughters is going to be a little bit different. One’s not better than the other, it’s just different. I was reminded of this lesson recently, saddened a bit that I’d forgotten it. But it wasn’t on my list.
P.S. Don’t forget to tell your daughter that you love her.