Special coaching with a deaf & mute couple

Every day is one step more towards my goal – be a coach and teach people from all over the world…

With no previous planning it became a very special coaching experience…. a Russian couple, Sergey & Maria who do not speak neither Spanish nor English (and of course not Hebrew), but the greatest challenge in this story is the fact that they are both deaf & mute.

They came for a visit at my dive centre and it turned to more than three hours of coaching session.

As a diving Instructor I can communicate with hand signs, yet I’m not familiar with deaf & mute signs… and believe me they can speak fast!

I’ve known Sergey for more than 10 years. He arrived to Spain from Ukraine 11 years ago, and I came from Israel around the same time. And during the years I tried to help him in any way I could.

 For a living, every evening he goes to different restaurants, and offers the clients small souvenirs like lighters, plastic dolphins or other chinese toys with a small note saying that he is Deaf & mute. Few minutes later he would pass and collect the money or the items that are left on the table, with a smile on his face not showing his disappointment when people do not buy from him.

 That’s how I met Sergey for the first time about 10 years ago. I can’t explain what it was exactly, but I saw something in his face. I felt something towards him, probably at the souls level.

Every time he entered  restaurants where I was sitting, I gave him 5 or 10 Euros note “buying” from him different dolphins.

One day in June, a hot Spanish summer while I was driving from a neighbouring village in a distance of six km, I saw this guy walking the road down the hill; that same day at lunch time I saw him again. When the Dolphin guy (that’s how I called him) arrived to my table where I had my lunch. I signed him to join me and called the restaurant’s owner to bring a daily menu for him. Doing so, I could notice in some astonished faces of the other clients… I just didn’t care…

 Some time after that event, Edna (who later became my wife) arrived to Spain and we were working together. During the high season at the dive centre, when we finished work late at night, we used to go out for a dinner. and in some occasions when I saw the Dolphin guy I invited him to join us.

People might think that with a deaf & mute person there is not much to talk… that is wrong. I used my note book and we were writing, drawing signs to each other, or I just used my imagination inventing hand signs… it worked well and we were changing information about each other…I learned that his name is Sergey and some other details about his life story and family… we didn’t talk politics or the last movies… they were more informative conversations.

Since then every time we saw Sergey in restaurants we went to with friends or on our own, he would come and spend a few minutes with us. I always gave him some money and he searched in his bag for something to give. Later on, he would look for some toys for Agam, my youngest daughter.

A few weeks ago, Edna and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary in one of our favourite restaurants, and we saw Sergey. Edna asked him to come to the diving centre to give him a jacket – almost new that I didn’t use.

Sergey came to the diving centre with his girlfriend Maria. He gave me signs of a keyboard, and pulled from his bag a laptop. We went to the classroom and plugged in his computer. He opened a translating program and signed Maria telling her what to write, she wrote it in Russian and for the first time I could read his words in English… wonders of technology.

 He told me that he is facing hard times, there are less people who are willing to pay the money for the toys he sells, and that he is thinking of going back to Russia after 11 years he’s been living in Spain, not legal, without papers and not seening his family during all those years.

I wanted to help him so I put on my head the Consultant hat.

At the beginning Maria seemed to be more interested in the photos from Jack Cousteau’s underwater encyclopaedias that were on the table.

I followed my intuition, I felt that the Stick Person wouldn’t be the right start for our conversation that I might lose his attention. When I told him things the way I saw them, Sergey responded the way I thought he might, saying that he can’t talk or hear… adding to this his lack of education, he knows a little reading and writing. I still think that he is a great salesperson.

As Bob Proctor says: those who can continue walk and sell after so many times hearing the word “No” they are good salespersons. Sergey, even if he doesn’t have many options, hears the word NO (well sees people nodding) so many times yet he still keeps smiling.

Sergey have very strong persistence abilities, but he is missing other “Tools” like: self-confidence and believing in his own abilities. He accepted to enter in the “Mental frame” of his close family and what the environment told him, that missing those two senses did not leave him many options in life.

 I tried to help Maria and Sergey build their self confidence, to believe that they can and should want more from their lives, without letting their disabilities control their lives. The lack of two senses has not affected their brain, and the lack of education is not a reason for not being able to do things… in my talking, I used examples like Henry Ford who had little education, Napoleon Hill who built in his son’s mind that being deaf is not a disability. I also showed them a short video how using different words can change the attitude.

I gave them some ideas how they can make a living, if and when they decide to return to Russia.

I wanted to build in their minds a new vision of making small steps that they won’t be able to accept, without frightening them. For example I told Maria she can make cookies and natural marmalades, and Sergey can sell the products in the local markets.

When I explained them their present way of thinking and their believes, followed by the new ideas I gave them. I felt that my ideas enter the right place, I could see tears in Maria’s eyes and small movements with her head like saying yes… I told Sergey that he needed to improve his life and be an example to his 19 years old son that was also born deaf and mute.

 I don’t know and cannot be sure if what I said will make any change in their lives. Yet, I have a feeling that even if they’d make a small change, it could lead them to better life.

I’m aware that after so many years living with those believes, a one time talk is not enough… So I asked them to come again. The next time I think they will be more ready and open to hear about the Stick Person.

I liked the idea that Sergey copied the written text of my words, knowing that he would read it over again, a thing that would help him grasp the information better and deeper and to help him move forward in his life.

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Moses, the best Salesman and Coach in History

Monday, April 18th 2011

Today is a very important day for me:

the opening my first Internet page as a Life Success Consultant and…

Tonight is the first night of the Jewish “Passover” a Holy Day when we remember our Exodus from being slaves to Freedom.

According to the Jewish calendar April, the month of Spring is also the first month in our calendar, remembering the times we escaped from slavery and became free people.

 I want to tell you the story of Moshe (Moses) the most inappropriate person chosen by God to be the leader of the Jewish people; Moshe who transformed to ultimately become the best Salesman and Coach in History.

I have chosen to tell the story of Moshe as an example for any person who wish to beFree, to each and every person who wants to change and improve his or her life.

 “Pesach” (in Hebrew language) is one of the three most important Holy Days for the Jewish people.  On this Holy Day we are celebrating the end of 430 years of slavery in Egypt, and the beginning of a free nation return back to its homeland;  the Promised land – Israel.

 In the old times, when the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was in its place, people from all around Israel used to walk to Jerusalem and celebrate the Holy Days of Pesach, one of the three most important holidays, by the Temple.

 The explanation for the name – “Pass-Over” is located in the story of how Moshe “Sold” Pharaoh the idea of let the Jewish people to be free. It was not an easy idea, and Pharaoh needed ten plagues to be convinced. The last plague, Angel of death was “passing over” the Jewish houses which door frames were marked with the blood of the Lambthat was prepared for dinner before they were released to freedom. The Jewish people got very strict orders to be dressed and packed ready for a long journey, “Prepare your bread as crackers with no yeast, roast your meat on fire and most important, stay inside your home till you are ordered to leave”.

 The concept of freedom we celebrate on this Holy Day is much more than just the liberation of the physical body from slavery. More important is the mental liberation, the freedom of the mind which affects a person’s way of thinking and action.

God had chosen Moshe to be the salesperson with only two “clients”:  the first job was to be the leader and mentor of the Jewish people, to convince them – actually “sell” them a number of new ideas, one of the most important being free people and a free nation.

 Moshe also had to “sell” the same idea of releasing the Jewish people from slavery to his second “client” – King Pharaoh. It seems that convincing King Pharaoh was an easier job than to change the mentality of slaves into mentality of free people.

 Moshe was an inappropriate person for this task because of his own life story. He had a speech disorder which made it difficult for him to speak.  According to the biblical story, Moshe as a young baby, after he was taken by Pharaoh’s daughter from the River Nile (the Hebrew meaning of Moshe’s name is: “taken from the water), Pharaoh advisers wanted to examine the child before accepting him into the royal family, to be certain he would not be a threat to the king. So they put in front of baby Moshe two bowls: one with Gold and the other one with burning coals.

Moshe extended his hand to grab the shiny one… but with the interference of God’s angel, his hand was pushed to the bowl of the burning coal which he put into his mouth.

This act probably saved Moshe’s life, but to be able to fulfill his life destinyand becoming the Jewish leader he needed the help of his brother Aaron to be used as his mouth to express God’s words to the people.

Reading the Bible we don’t know much about Moshe’s life story as a young person. Yet, we can guess that as a child and later as a young man who was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter he was an outsider among the other Royal princes. Add to that fact the speech disorder, we can assume that he was not the girl’s favorite. All those facts didn’t add much to his self-confidence despite growing up in the Royal residence as a prince.

I would guess that Moshe was a lonely person, not welcome to hang around with the other royal princes and their companions.

We know the story of Moshe walking alone in the streets of Egypt seeing an Egyptian whipping a Jewish slave. Moshe killed the Egyptian (probably by accident) and as a result he needed to escape from Egypt.

Based on the fact that he needed to escape, it is clear that even though he was a ‘prince’ he was not very popular within the Royal family.

His escape from Egypt was no doubt with many fears and bad conscience from killing a person. He had to leave his regular convenient lifestyle, arrive to a country where probably he didn’t speak the language; a foreigner, keeping his personal history and background a secret.

Moshe was a good person with a good heart, and when he saw young women harassed by other shepherds, he protected them. Yitro, their father, paid him back by giving one of his daughters to be Moshe’s wife… he also gave him a job (probably his first job) to become a shepherd.

Moshe’s new job allowed him to develop his personality: strength, compassion, courage and a leader’s eye to be able to see his herd and control it also in dangerous times.

The story could be continued with a happy ending  – Moshe having his shepherd business and family growing… But god had different plans; God decided it was the right time for the new future leader to do his life’s project. Unfortunately Moshe was not aware of God’s plans for him.

 God called Moshe, and twicehe refused this new job offer, saying “who am I, to lead your people? “ And why would Pharaoh listen to him and let the people go… and why would the sons of Israel listen to him and believe that he is their new leader?

 We can see that although Moshe’s personality changed, in his mind he still kept his old self-image.

God had to convince Moshe to change his own image, to see himself as the Shepherd and leader of God’s chosen children – the sons of Israel.

God sent Moshe to do his homework, some market research requiring him to talk with the people and the leaders of the Jewish tribes to tell them to get ready for their upcoming freedom.

 God was fair enough to warn him, saying: “No matter what you say, they won’t “Buy” it easily… not Pharaoh nor the sons of Israel… but you need to have persistence, don’t give up regardless of how many “NO”s you may hear when you try to sell them these ideas. 

 Ten times Moshe needed to go to Pharaoh and perform miracles using the strength and power of God till Pharaoh convinced and agreed to “buy” this new idea, letting the Jewish people go… that was only after the tenth Plague, after the death of all the first born sons.  It was a difficult idea for Pharaoh to give up on 600,000 men slaves (with women and kids they were about 2 million); he knew that it would affect the Egyptian economy.

And the sons of Israel… after Moshe went the first time to Pharaoh asking him to release them from Egypt, Pharaoh decided to punish them and make their life harder than it already was. So the sons of Israel were complaining to Moshe, saying: “before you came here to sell us your new ideas of freedom, our lives were much better than now…”

Selling ideas of freedom to slaves, sons of slaves… is not an easy task, especially when you consider that this was a nation of strong, stubborn people who didn’t really care even when the boss name is God.

 During 430 years they were slaves, they didn’t know how to think as free men, and had no image and vision of being free people.

 As we can read in the story when those ex slaves, the new released free people, sawthe first sign of difficulty, when they saw the clouds of dust that the big Egyptian army made when chasing them to bring them back to slavery.  The people complained to Moshe: “what have you done to us?.. We had great life there…“. As we all know, most people prefer to stick to their old known habits than to have new unknown habits.

The sons of Israel were in a new stage in their life, it was an unknown situation and no matter how hard it was to be a slave, they preferred to stay in that known situation than to have something new.

 Because of that mindset they had to walk in the desert, in circles for 40 years… a slave will always remain slave in his mind.

 Only free man – a new generation of people had to be born in the freedom of the desert to be able to return back to the promise land and live as free men.

Moshe was the best salesperson on history, starting his way from a very low starting point, to the point where he managed to change a king’s mind by “selling” him the idea to release all of his slaves…

He also ‘sold’ the idea to the same group of slaves to start thinking as free men.

 Moshe was a great leader; he managed to change those slaves to become one of the smallest nations with the highest moral codes – the Bible, and to be one of the most productive nations right up to present days.

 Any great leader, salesperson or coach needs to have a good mentor behind him, usually we say that behind any successful man there is a woman… in the case of Moshe that mentor is called God – maybe then, God is a woman!!

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