My lesson on not giving up
“What is it about me that I’m not able to influence you?”
A lump formed in my throat when I heard this question. My mentor suggested I ask this to a person who seemingly did not take my concerns seriously, after many failed attempts in communication.
This triggered me. There’s something about the wording in that question that reminded me of how I’m accountable and responsible for the outcome, or lack thereof. It felt way too personal for my comfort zone. It was much more gratifying to hide and place the blame on the other person and vilify her than it was to put up a mirror and look at how I was communicating and showing up in the conversation. And it was absolutely terrifying to go as far as to ask this very person what it was about me that wasn’t swaying or moving her to action. This felt like a risk. I felt vulnerable.
This all began when colleagues and I were exploring the move of insisting. My inquiry: how do I know when to keep going in a conversation and insist or to walk away and give up?
Well. How do we know? In this instance, the concern I had involved my child’s safety and his level of trust in school. Because my husband and I noted a lack of integrity from the people in his care, I decided that by all means I will insist and keep speaking up and not stop until our concerns are heard and we are in a productive dialogue. The subject matter held weighty importance to us. A line was crossed and it was appropriate for us to lean in, re-center and direct our energy and attention to the other party.
It can be tough. There was a point where all communication was happening via email. Electronic communication has its limitations – it’s flat and lacks tone and the power of being in the energetic presence of people. The emails were going nowhere and then there were missed phone calls. It came to a point where my husband said, “We’re done. This isn’t going anywhere and it doesn’t seem like it ever will.” At that point it certainly did seem over. But we both knew in our gut that it wasn’t. We were a stand for our son and for kids in his situation.
So I did what scared me. I asked them the question. And made the insist yet again. Our concerns went to the proper person and we scheduled a meeting. I went solo with my husband’s full support and finally felt heard and gotten by administration. We had an honest and open dialogue.
I never felt so elated, relieved and appreciative. The reward of being a stand for something that matters and persistently insisting felt exhilarating and enlivening. All of our concerns and who we were inside the conversation felt legitimized and dignified. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I not only did this move for my son. I did it for me.
Here’s to insisting,
Lora Lyons is on a mission to dignify the role of mothers.
As an entrepreneur and mom, she has first-hand experience of how easy it is to lose oneself inside the demands of a family. Her ground-breaking Mother’s Balancing Act coaching program is based on her journey to regain her sense of calm and stay connected to herself, her husband and her children. Lora wants you to be the calm inside the chaos and fully appreciate your worth and value. She shows you how to embody that through her unique and effective approach via email newsletters, tele-seminars and 1-on-1 and group coaching.
She holds a master’s degree in communications management, a certification as a somatic coach at Strozzi Institute and is a fourth-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate. You can sign up for her twice monthly “Being the Calm Inside the Chaos” email newsletter at http://LyonsLeadershipCoaching.com.
Looking for a dynamic and engaging speaker for your moms’ group or PTA? Lora LOVES sharing her work with groups.