Home Chennai Growing up with Kaizen

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    Swetha Reddy shares how she went from housewife to motivational coach for children in a matter of months

    If you can’t help but be cynical about the saying ‘it’s never too late to start something new’, a meeting with Swetha Reddy is long overdue. A graduate in Sociology and housewife for the better part of her life, Reddy was 45 when she decided to try her hand as an educational coach. After several TED videos and sessions on Google last year, she came across Jack Canfield’s Train the Trainer workshop in LA, and took up the Skype interview that got her in. “It has three modules that involve back and forth trips to the US. People from across the world — authors, marketing professionals, corporate coaches, etc — sign up,” she shares, explaining that after the first module, participants are required to return to their hometown and conduct three workshops of their own, before going back for a debriefing. Reddy, who was the only person in her group who had never worked in her life, came back to Chennai with enough confidence to start her own company and thus was born Kaizen.

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    “I am a mother of two and at that time, they were both teenagers. I knew their problems and the problems faced by their parents,” says Reddy, who formulated a workshop for teenagers (13-17 year olds), that she has been conducting at her office on RK Salai for a year now. Setting goals, discovering passions, handling feedback and rejection are some of the areas it covers, and Reddy, whose next workshop is scheduled for September 21, modifies the content to suit teachers, parents and corporates as well. “The topics are the same, but the content changes for different age groups,” she shares, explaining that she incorporates the principles of Jack Canfield, Robin Sharma and Byron Katie in her workshops. “For example, Robin Sharma believes in starting the day early. ‘Get up at 5 am’ is what he says. Byron Katie talks about making amendments,” she explains.

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    Ask her about the top problems children face today and Reddy says, “Pressure at home and school, lack of appreciation and self esteem issues.” While Reddy’s next module (that she plans to start in October) will cover topics like organisational skills and overcoming fears, her upcoming workshop this weekend will teach teenagers about setting goals and also introduce them to accountability partners, who they can report to on a daily basis. “I make the workshops simple and fun, and teach the kids a few principles,” says Reddy, concluding that for the children, it is like a three hour movie.

    On September 21, at `2,500 per child. Details: kaizen.org.in

    — Ryan Peppin

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