Appear Human & Vulnerable? OMG!
One common characteristic I have seen over the past several decades is the lack of self-defence instructors to appear human and vulnerable.
Appear vulnerable? How could I do that when teaching people how not to appear vulnerable or have some measure of fear?
That is why you should show you are vulnerable and fearful like anyone else. One of the topics I bring up during our SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence certifications or teaching any seminar, whether you are teaching kids or adults, is to share stories where you messed up or did just the opposite of what you teach.
As the so-called “expert,” one of the quickest ways to gain the attention of those you teach is to show how similar you are to those you teach. Sharing your fears, screwups, and vulnerabilities immediately closes the gap, which is critical when teaching these life-saving skills.
Another time this is particularly valuable is when you have a group of clients who are shy or apprehensive about being judged by the others in the class. When you share, most often, you can feel and sense the relaxation that comes to the room, creating an environment more favourable for teaching.
Another critical topic I bring up is when clients open up in front of others and share a story where they feel embarrassed. Again, the instructor’s job is to make sure others do not judge or bring up comments that confirm their embarrassment or self-blame for their actions. Healthy questions and discussions are great, but when they create an environment where no one else wants to share due to possible ridicule, everyone loses the value of the group interaction.
Remember the saying, “Sharing is Caring?” As the expert, ensure everyone feels this way to create an optimal learning environment.
SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defense – Sharing & Caring Since 1994. 😀
Chris Roberts, Founder