Shivani Mair

Be prepared to fail regularly, let that be part of shaping your idea

Stories Shivani Mair

The Founding Director of the Our People’s Coach™ Street Team discusses the importance of experimentation to successfully pilot and launch a new community project.

Stories

Boom Boom Go:

Describe your project and what excites you about it.

Shivani Mair:

The Our People’s Coach™ Street Team is made up of certified coaches, and we get together in a secret location and do speed coaching to members of the public for free. We call it the Our People’s Coach™ Flash Mob.

The flash mobs are about making a positive impact in a small way. Coaching is such a profound way of connecting and supporting other people and the flash mob is a way of reminding people how powerful listening, curiosity, openness and non-judgement can be.

Boom Boom Go:

What difference has it made to your life, your community or the world?

Shivani Mair:

It’s a vehicle where I can combine all my skills as a presenter, creative producer and coach, and it feeds my soul that every day I am contributing to something that is for the good.

Our aim is to make members of the public aware of what coaching is, what it isn’t, and how it works. And to showcase what it’s like working with a coach who is professionally trained and certified. I am to eventually have an Our People’s Coach™ Street Team in every country and every city around the world.

Boom Boom Go:

You had the idea for two years before acting on it. Was something holding you back?

Shivani Mair:

I piloted street coaching on my own initially, as I wanted a clear sense of the best process of public coaching, and to test what did and did not work, before getting others involved. I had to be patient and experiment as it all took some time to develop in my head and in reality.

I also wanted to be sure that this was going to be a viable project. I’m driven by doing good, but I believe any idea needs to be sustainable in order for it to continue and develop. I’ve been working on a business model to take Our Peoples’ Coach™ to the next level.

Boom Boom Go:

What helped you to move past any initial fears

Shivani Mair:

I wasn’t attached to whether it would work or not, I just strived to do my best because I believed in the cause. If it didn’t work at least I knew that I had given it a go.

I learnt not to invest time in people who are doubtful, cynical and negative. In the early stage of the idea I needed to share it with people who are dream catchers and champions, not those who are risk averse.

Experimentation was key. I took stock after every time while it was still fresh in my mind, thinking about the process and how it could do better next time.

I had faith that if it was the right thing for me to do it would flow easily, and if it was too difficult all the time, I’d pause the project for a while or shift direction.

Boom Boom Go:

What tips would you give other people looking to start their own purposeful project?

Shivani Mair:

Put some time aside every week to think about your idea, talk about it, brainstorm it, research it.

Be prepared to fail regularly. Just take that on as inevitable, so when it does happen let it be part of the shaping of the idea.

Call people in to your team. What kinds of skills and power do you want? Someone who’s a great listener? Someone who is really good at risk taking? Someone who is great at taking an idea and making it a reality? Imagine those people as real and you’ll find them.

Shivani Mair is Founding Director and Trainer at Our People's Coach Group CIC, a social enterprise that runs street coaching flash mobs across the UK. creativeby-nature.com/about-opc