The Woman Who Went to Work to Heal

I’m sure I’ve told the sto­ry before but it bears repeating.

Years ago, I was invit­ed to speak at a nation­al com­pa­ny con­fer­ence and it was stun­ning­ly dif­fer­ent from oth­er con­fer­ences I’d attend­ed. Instead of sit-down meals where atten­dees were served, food was avail­able all the time — you just had to get it for your­self. There was no big binder with all the ses­sion hand-outs. If you want­ed hand-outs you were advised to speak direct­ly to the pre­sen­ters who may or may not have them. Instead of a packed agen­da where peo­ple were sup­posed to learn the gospels of the experts, there were long breaks after every major speak­er so that peo­ple had a chance to dis­cuss and cri­tique what they’d heard. In addi­tion to break-out ses­sions where teams dis­cussed their recent inno­va­tions, there were ongo­ing “open space” groups form­ing con­stant­ly in the foy­er of the con­fer­ence hall, based on the inter­ests of par­tic­i­pants. Every­where I turned, there was an empha­sis on inno­va­tion and par­tic­i­pants being respon­si­ble for their own expe­ri­ence rather than being pas­sive­ly “fed.” The ener­gy was total­ly dif­fer­ent: every­one was enjoy­ing, engag­ing, exchang­ing — expe­ri­enc­ing a pos­i­tive sense of com­mu­ni­ty they had cre­at­ed for them­selves. The place was radi­ant with noise, laugh­ter, ani­mat­ed con­ver­sa­tion, peo­ple scrib­bling on flip charts, shar­ing ideas and toss­ing out possibilities.

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I was so excit­ed about the struc­ture of the con­fer­ence and the empha­sis on par­tic­i­pant auton­o­my, choice and exchange that I sought out the orga­niz­er, a staff pro­fes­sion­al who had been with the com­pa­ny for many years. I asked her, “How on earth did you think up these dif­fer­ences in con­fer­ence design?” — for, in fact, they were all her ideas. I was stunned by what she told me about herself.

A few years ago,” she said, “I woke up in the mid­dle of the night and real­ized I was liv­ing with a socio­path­ic hus­band. I got up, silent­ly packed and got out of the house through a win­dow. I nev­er went back to that house. After I left, I went to work to heal.”

And it was exact­ly this heal­ing process, of which design­ing and lead­ing con­fer­ences was a small part, that had changed her own life and affect­ed the lives of those her work touched through­out the company.

These days we tend to think of work­places as the source of work prob­lems and stress­es from which we must heal, not the oth­er way around. In the last two posts, here and here, I’ve explored the neg­a­tive impacts of shame, per­son­al and orga­ni­za­tion­al. Today it may be hard to con­ceive of work­places where peo­ple do find a way to over­come per­son­al fear or shame through the expe­ri­ence of trust, love, and com­mu­ni­ty. Yet, the con­fer­ence orga­niz­er is a mem­o­rable exam­ple of exact­ly that.

Per­haps it is alto­geth­er too far out even to sug­gest that orga­ni­za­tions have a role in the heal­ing of peo­ple. But a good leader (maybe a great one) would:

Fol­low and be proud of his or her own unique path, stay­ing away from use­less com­par­isons with others

Encour­age and help oth­ers find their unique paths, too.

Lis­ten self­less­ly and reflec­tive­ly to others

Lis­ten intu­itive­ly to him/herself

Turn to oth­ers when in need (includ­ing emo­tion­al need) rather than seek­ing isolation

Look for oth­ers who might be feel­ing iso­lat­ed and bring them into community

Repair, learn from and let go of per­son­al mistakes

Let oth­ers repair, learn from and let go of their per­son­al mistakes

Open up to per­son­al fears, inse­cu­ri­ties and all the places where shame might show up

Bring peo­ple togeth­er to build togeth­er a com­mon vision for the busi­ness and mar­shal their ener­gies to cre­ate it together

Use sys­tems, such as recruit­ment and selec­tion and pro­mo­tion as a way to include and affirm as many good peo­ple as possible

Make oppor­tu­ni­ties for open dis­cus­sion, team devel­op­ment and indi­vid­ual growth in lieu of for­mal appraisals

Make sure that com­pen­sa­tion is not a black box for peo­ple or a tool for favoritism to indi­vid­u­als or groups, but is under­stand­able and equitable

Offer pos­i­tive, grate­ful feed­back to oth­ers, and also invite feed­back, too

I real­ize it is more fash­ion­able to focus on indi­vid­ual account­abil­i­ties, as if peo­ple don’t have an intrin­sic desire for that, as if that’s the work­place’s biggest, old­est prob­lem. We have to be tough, right? But look what the con­fer­ence orga­niz­er did and how she did it. She hon­ored peo­ple by giv­ing them choic­es and oppor­tu­ni­ties, by active­ly trust­ing them to learn rather than requir­ing them to learn via some process of pas­sive con­trol, phoney priv­i­lege and force feed­ing. She gave them their own chance and choice to heal, if only in a lit­tle way.

It seems to me much of the cur­rent sys­tem, with its inter­nal com­pe­ti­tions and iso­lat­ing silos is a fac­to­ry for anx­i­ety, pres­sure, shame and depen­den­cy more than for any­thing like inno­va­tion and human empowerment.

If you can’t see this, it’s no won­der and no one is to blame. Col­lec­tive­ly you could say the design of our orga­ni­za­tions and tra­di­tion­al lead­er­ship think­ing include an unin­tend­ed socio­path­ic impulse, and when you are in bed with a sociopath, it can take quite a lot to wake up, pack up, open the win­dow and just get out.

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21 Comments

  • Arabella wrote:

    Gosh, Dan. You cer­tain­ly have a way of stir­ring up the best from those of us who have the good for­tune of being aware of your work and your writ­ing. There is so much “meat” here. Thank you for this potent reminder that work isn’t the “nec­es­sary evil” that I, for one, often view it as.

  • Dear Ara­bel­la~

    Thank you so much for these kind words. I love your idea of con­vert­ing a “nec­es­sary evil” into some­thing bet­ter, enliven­ing and hopeful!

    All the best
    Dan

  • Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) wrote:

    Great Post Dan,

    I have always used work & study as a shel­ter when I was in cri­sis or liv­ing in the mid­dle of crisis. 

    But I love to work! Is it because of what it can offer me? I don’t know. What I know that I want to be remem­bered the day I die that I have done some­thing in my life, I made a dif­fer­ence to some­one’s life.

    Let me fin­ish with this beau­ti­ful quote of a co-patriot:
    “Work is love made vis­i­ble. And if you can­not work with love but only with dis­taste, it is bet­ter that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the tem­ple and take alms of those who work with joy.” K. Gibran

    Hoda

  • Dan, this is tru­ly anoth­er remark­able post. So much to reflect on here.…

    I’m only going to pick one item from your list today:

    Turn to oth­ers when in need (includ­ing emo­tion­al need) rather than seek­ing isolation’

    This is a big one for not only myself but many peo­ple. This is what is also linked to shame and what I touched on in the ear­ly part of my code­pen­den­cy post. http://tweetconnection.com/2013/08/17/co-dependency-and-relationships/

    I wrote:

    Much of this is due to liv­ing in a chron­ic, shame-based cul­ture where many fam­i­lies don’t have the tools and skills nec­es­sary to gen­uine­ly con­nect and acknowl­edge legit­i­mate needs. Val­i­date them. Let alone meet them for one anoth­er in healthy ways. As a result, we become dis­con­nect­ed from our true selves and legit­i­mate needs. This turns into a vicious shame-based iden­ti­ty and destruc­tive cycle where peo­ple expe­ri­ence feel­ings of shame for hav­ing needs and learn how to shame oth­ers for hav­ing needs in return.

    If/when we have been chron­i­cal­ly shamed for hav­ing legit­i­mate needs…any legit­i­mate needs at all, this is what tends to shut us down from reach­ing out to oth­ers when we are in true need. 

    Ear­li­er in the year I also did a series of tweets that men­tioned friends who had shared that some­one they knew had com­mit­ted sui­cide in the past year. In both cas­es, they were per­ceived to be ‘hap­py’ peo­ple (a facade), were active mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ty and church. Yet one day, decid­ed they could­n’t take the pres­sure and end­ed their lives. 

    And this is yet ANOTHER rea­son I am not a fan of pos­i­tive pop psy­chol­o­gy or ANY type of teach­ing that sug­gests that peo­ple have to HIDE the truth of what they are feel­ing inside in order to pre­vent oth­er peo­ple from hav­ing to expe­ri­ence ‘dis­com­fort’.

    Obvi­ous­ly, when peo­ple have been shamed for hav­ing ANY legit­i­mate needs and are con­di­tioned and taught to hide those needs and put on the fake hap­py face, the TRUTH of those needs don’t mag­i­cal­ly dis­ap­pear. The bur­den takes its toll on peo­ple. And then when some­one ends their lives, we won­der why we nev­er saw it com­ing. We nev­er knew. 

    We don’t give peo­ple per­mis­sion to be real in this soci­ety and cul­ture. And when peo­ple aren’t allowed to be real and be hon­est about their legit­i­mate needs/feelings, it builds up and leads to destruc­tion. Either towards self and/or against others. 

    We need to lift the bur­den of shame from hav­ing legit­i­mate needs. We need to quit sham­ing peo­ple for feel­ing any­thing less then ‘hap­py’.

    Man­dates to ‘just be hap­py’ are for WHO? The BENEFIT of the one being told to just be hap­py and change your atti­tude? Or is for the ben­e­fit of the one telling/dictating that oth­er peo­ple need to just be hap­py? So they don’t have to feel any dis­com­fort over some­one elses needs and hardships? 

    Denial isn’t a riv­er in Egypt. Deny­ing legit­i­mate needs does­n’t make any of those needs disappear. 

    Thanks for writ­ing anoth­er great post that inspires me to give voice to at least one point from your list. : ) 

    ~Saman­tha

  • Dear Hoda~

    Yes, that’s a very beau­ti­ful quo­ta­tion from Gibran. Work itself can be a heal­ing force, espe­cial­ly when oth­er parts of a per­son­’s life are in cri­sis — as you well know. What I so val­ue about the sto­ry of the woman in this post is that she used her heal­ing process to give oth­ers and her­self what she and they need­ed — a voice, engage­ment, auton­o­my, a chance to build real com­mu­ni­ty. How won­der­ful it is when the very things we need to heal are also the things the orga­ni­za­tion needs to cre­ate its own best future.

    As always, thanks very much Hoda, for your love­ly com­ment and the quotation!

    All the best
    ~Dan

  • Dear Saman­tha~

    The dynam­ic of peo­ple hav­ing to put on a hap­py face (or a strong face, or a sub­mis­sive face, or any face at all oth­er than their own) is one that reach­es deep inside con­tem­po­rary cul­ture. Feel­ing forced to look a cer­tain way is a form of rob­bery — one we can all too eas­i­ly par­tic­i­pate and col­lude in. 

    Saman­tha, you have seen through that dynam­ic so thor­ough­ly that you are now a teacher. How easy it is to slip away from our own needs in favor of some­thing else…to look good and pre­tend suc­cess, to not both­er oth­ers, to main­tain a self-image. These turn out to be hol­low rea­sons for every form of self-denial. A per­son can feel so mur­dered in this way that he or she lit­er­al­ly turns to self-mur­der as the only way out. That’s the extreme — but in so many lit­tle ways the dynam­ic also occurs with us hard­ly notic­ing until the frog is boiled. There’s lit­er­al death, but for most it prob­a­bly is more like a a series of lit­tle soul-deaths, and an uncon­scious alien­ation from oneself.

    I hon­or the fab­u­lous work you have done to free your­self and to heal, and with the lessons well in hand, how you now share your lib­er­at­ing wis­dom with such a strong voice and open heart.

    Many best wishes

    ~Dan

  • Yes! Dan, you said: 

    …but in so many lit­tle ways the dynam­ic also occurs with us hard­ly notic­ing until the frog is boiled.’ 

    This reminds me of a post Jesse Lyn Ston­er wrote a year or so ago. I com­ment­ed on it when I touched on sit­u­a­tions where I had either entered into orga­ni­za­tions where peo­ple were already being boiled and sit­u­a­tions where I wound up being the frog who was slow­ly heat­ed to the point of boil­ing. (and had to get out or com­plete­ly lose myself) 

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I can’t recall the name of that post! : ) 

    Your use of the terms ‘self-mur­der’ and the series of lit­tle soul-deaths are in no way an exag­ger­a­tion. That’s exact­ly what is hap­pen­ing in our culture. 

    And for any­one read­ing this who might be ‘wor­ried’ that I“m advo­cat­ing dwelling in a men­tal state of mis­ery. That is not what is being said at all. 

    It is the chron­ic denial of legit­i­mate needs and lack of hon­esty and the safe­ty to be hon­est about our needs/feelings that LEADS to the misery. 

    Yes, our ‘atti­tude’ can help us when deal­ing with great pain and hard­ship if we can cling to REAL hope that we can turn things around in some way. Yet mask­ing gen­uine need with a fake hap­py face where there is no hope or action of ever get­ting a legit­i­mate need met is the path of destruction. 

    A baby cries when it is hun­gry or has a soiled dia­per or needs to feel the warmth and affec­tion of it’s mother/father. When the need is met, the baby stops crying.

    As adults, we are no longer help­less babies, how­ev­er, we still have legit­i­mate needs. Some of these needs we learn to meet for our­selves as healthy adults. MANY of our needs are met NOT in iso­la­tion but in com­mu­nion with oth­ers via inter­de­pen­dent rela­tion­ships. (vs codependent) 

    In mar­riage, if one or both part­ners aren’t allowed or have been chron­i­cal­ly con­di­tioned to deny one’s own legit­i­mate needs/feelings (more then like­ly car­ried IN to the rela­tion­ship from child­hood), the mask to ‘feign’ hap­pi­ness is worn at the expense of hon­esty and address­ing the meet­ing of legit­i­mate needs. Words become more and more dis­tant from actions. The rift widens. What remains is only a sem­blance of a ‘union’ where more often then not, the only ties that bind are debt, chil­dren, and fear­ing what oth­er peo­ple might think if the truth ever gets out one or both are miserable. 

    It hap­pens in a sim­i­lar man­ner in the work­place. Where there is a lack of hon­esty between lead­er­ship and lay peo­ple, the only ties that bind revolve around debts. That winds up the only rea­son peo­ple would STAY in envi­ron­ments where they are miserable. 

    It is actu­al­ly to EVERY­ONE’s ben­e­fit (both lead­ers and lay peo­ple alike) to val­i­date and hon­or legit­i­mate human needs/feelings. In both our per­son­al lives AND our pro­fes­sion­al lives. 

    Note on the lat­ter: I’m not sug­gest­ing that pro­vid­ing excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice means the provider is unpro­fes­sion­al in their manner/conduct with a cus­tomer. Yet, per­haps the idea of a means to ‘debrief’ when hav­ing to deal with a dif­fi­cult cus­tomer might be the answer with their team/leader, etc. 

    Any­way, MUCH can be cov­ered on this top­ic. Thanks again for anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to help us peel anoth­er lay­er that might help lead us to a deep­er truth and under­stand­ing of these things. 

    Grat­i­tude.

  • Saman­tha~

    Thanks for this. It’s so true that it is to every­one’s ben­e­fit to “val­i­date and hon­or legit­i­mate human needs/feelings.” For too many, what those “legit­i­mate” needs and feel­ings are have become obscured by the eco­nom­ic pres­sures of the times and oth­er cul­tur­al rewards for self-betray­al. I love the empha­sis in your com­ment on find­ing the true bonds rather than the ones cre­at­ed from debt. 

    We all have a lot of work to do…

    Sin­cere­ly~
    Dan

  • You present two intrigu­ing ideas here Dan. 

    #1 Peo­ple go to work to heal and #2can work­places enhance that in some way. 

    I have met many peo­ple over the years who did this and it remind­ed me of an old say­ing: When you’re hurt­ing, get busy for your­self and oth­ers. The mind is an awe­some thing and when it shifts into ser­vice mode, it seems to actu­al­ly replace the hurt w/ pos­si­bil­i­ties pre­vi­ous­ly unknown.

    I won­der how many lead­ers think of tap­ping this poten­tial and guid­ing it by choos­ing many of the behav­iors you noted?

    Very very inter­est­ing post. I will share it with others.

    Best to you,
    Kate

  • Dear Kate~

    Thank you — I think you’ve clar­i­fied per­fect­ly. And I think there is also a third point that is intend­ed but more implied than explic­it. In this case, I think the very process of heal­ing for an indi­vid­ual also deeply con­tributed to the qual­i­ty of the orga­ni­za­tion in which she was work­ing. Her heal­ing was its “heal­ing,” too.

    Of course, some of this had to do with her role. But I’d argue that the inno­v­a­tive redesign of the con­fer­ence — for high­er lev­els of indi­vid­ual respon­si­bil­i­ty for learn­ing and a more open, col­lab­o­ra­tive, out-of-the-box, “think for your­self” envi­ron­ment — was both what she need­ed to heal per­son­al­ly and what the cor­po­ra­tion need­ed to fos­ter its own suc­cess. Could it be that this mag­i­cal syn­er­gy holds a clue to rethink­ing lead­er­ship and man­age­ment in our orga­ni­za­tions today? 

    Clear­ly, the woman in my sto­ry con­nect­ed these dots — else why tell me the sto­ry? While she nev­er dis­closed this to me explic­it­ly, what I believe she had freed her­self from was very con­trol­ling and dom­i­nat­ing domes­tic sit­u­a­tion where she might have been high­ly co-depen­dent. Is there a par­al­lel in her con­fer­ence redesign with how to end the co-depen­dent rela­tion­ships spawned by tra­di­tion­al orga­ni­za­tions and lead­er­ship patterns?

    I think it is provoca­tive to con­sid­er that by cre­at­ing an orga­ni­za­tion where it is eas­i­er for peo­ple to heal from their past co-depen­den­cies and emo­tion­al vio­lence, we also cre­ate a much more inno­v­a­tive and empow­er­ing orga­ni­za­tion over­all, for every­one — an orga­ni­za­tion with a cul­ture that’s like the con­fer­ence design: grown up and more emo­tion­al­ly mature.

    Lots to think about here!

    Thank you again for stop­ping by, Kate. It’s always a plea­sure to find your com­ments here.

    All the best
    ~Dan

  • Dear Dan

    Anoth­er stun­ning post of some beau­ti­ful souls.

    So much to take to heart.

    To work, is to ful­fill our mission.
    To heal, is to actu­al­ize our soul.

    Lol­ly

  • Dear Lol­ly~

    There might be many posts on work and heal­ing. I love the idea of explor­ing the myr­i­ad con­nec­tions and sto­ries — each sto­ry unique in a way but maybe also leav­ing clues to the kind of work­place that strength­ens our own hearts as we work togeth­er to strength­en the heart of our organizations.

    Your words go to the core!

    Thank you, Lol­ly, Much, much grat­i­tude to you.

    All the best
    ~Dan

  • Thank you, Dan, and all who have respond­ed, for the deep wis­dom and insight you have shared here.
    This dis­cus­sion of heal­ing and the work­place brings to mind the words of Robert Green­leaf on ser­vant leadership.
    Accord­ing to Green­leaf the ulti­mate test of a ser­vant leader is this question, 

    “Do oth­ers become health­i­er, wis­er, freer, more autonomous more like­ly them­selves to become servants?”

    One of the key ser­vant leader char­ac­ter­is­tics he described is the leader’s abil­i­ty to empathize with peo­ple in their brokenness. 

    “Many oth­er­wise able peo­ple are dis­qual­i­fied to lead because they can­not work with and through the half-peo­ple who are all there are. The secret of insti­tu­tion build­ing is to be able to weld a team of such peo­ple by lift­ing them up to grow taller than they would oth­er­wise be. Peo­ple grow taller when those who lead them empathize and when they are accept­ed for what they are.”

    In this then lead­ers can be healers. 

    “Servant-leaders are heal­ers in the sense of mak­ing whole by help­ing oth­ers to a larg­er and nobler vision and pur­pose than they would be like­ly to attain for themselves.”

    The great­est imped­i­ment to whole­ness and heal­ing that I see in the work­place is the false notion that lead­er­ship and man­age­ment are syn­ony­mous. For both man­agers and non-man­agers this great­ly weak­ens their abil­i­ty to live out who they are. Peo­ple want to mat­ter, they want to care, they want to make a dif­fer­ence, but all the tan­gled mis­con­cep­tions around lead­er­ship con­strict their capac­i­ty to be the peo­ple of sig­nif­i­cance that they are meant to be.
    The woman in your beau­ti­ful sto­ry found heal­ing in her work because she was free to lead. She was able to find accep­tance for all of who she is and live out the best of it in ser­vice to oth­ers, giv­ing them the free­dom to them­selves become lead­ers and find healing.

  • Dear Daniel~

    It is so won­der­ful to find your words here!

    The quo­ta­tions you bring from Green­leaf’s work are total­ly on tar­get, artic­u­lat­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary consciousness.

    I say “rev­o­lu­tion­ary,” and yet Green­leaf’s work has been with us well over two decades. What makes these lessons so difficult?

    In part I believe it is our fail­ure, not just to imple­ment the required lead­er­ship mind­set, but also define the intend­ed nature, struc­ture, and cul­ture of our orga­ni­za­tions. This isn’t a set of philoso­phies or prin­ci­ples so much as a series of raw exam­ples and risky exper­i­ments; above all, action — as real as the con­fer­ence described in this post. We must do this, I believe, so that our vision has a mean­ing­ful track record, so that we know, real­ly know that it sup­ports the truth that peo­ple come to work, at least in part, to recov­er from the dam­age done to them. If we under­stand that mea­sure and accept it the whole nature of the work­place can change, as in the sto­ry I told in this post.

    Our job is to over­come the fear — the fear that cre­at­ing tru­ly human orga­ni­za­tions will some­how threat­en the cur­rent sta­tus quo — they won’t. They will, instead, tru­ly over­turn the sta­tus quo — in very pos­i­tive ways. And if that is so, then it is also a rev­o­lu­tion in our con­cept of busi­ness itself and the role busi­ness plays in the world. 

    My point is that if you ful­ly roll out the impli­ca­tions of Green­leaf’s work, you get some­thing very, very dif­fer­ent from what peo­ple are expe­ri­enc­ing today and it will take an august form of lead­er­ship — in which we all par­tic­i­pate — to help get us there. I hear in your com­ment that empha­sis on free­dom and I would say it must be an informed and deeply sen­si­tive free­dom, an emo­tion­al free­dom, if we are going to arrive at the intend­ed destination.

    We, all of us inter­est­ed in lead­er­ship, play a role, I believe. We use our own heal­ing to pro­mote heal­ing and to artic­u­late what our future orga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­ni­ties could be. We cre­ate a vision and feel it in our hearts and share it open­ly and grace­ful­ly. We embody what kind of “cor­po­ra­tion” we could be.

    You are such a super-star of this aware­ness, Daniel. It’s an hon­or to be a tablet for your thoughts and heart-felt perspective.

    All the best
    Dan

  • Fan­tas­tic post, Dan. This woman was able to reach out to heal by hon­or­ing indi­vid­u­als and empow­er­ing them to make the right choic­es for them… instead of con­trol­ling and dic­tat­ing the experience. 

    Also strikes me that when we dic­tate and con­trol the expe­ri­ence, if peo­ple don’t walk away with what we intend­ed them to get, we’re dis­ap­point­ed. When we cre­ate the space for peo­ple to step up, engage and be account­able for their own learn­ing and con­nec­tion… they own the expe­ri­ence and are respon­si­ble for their own feel­ings and results. 

    Loved it! Hope I get to be a part of a con­fer­ence like this one in the future!

  • Dear Alli~

    Yes, you are absolute­ly right, and I love your point about “if peo­ple don’t walk away with what we intend­ed them to get, we’re dis­ap­point­ed.” It’s a fan­ta­sy, an illu­sion and it’s our loss, nobody else’s. It’s time to stop try­ing to own oth­ers’ expe­ri­ences, and learn how to encour­age and sup­port oth­ers’ auton­o­my and matu­ri­ty instead. 

    I hope we ALL get that same con­fer­ence together!

    All the best, Alli, and thank you so much for commenting! 

    ~Dan

  • A won­der­ful post Dan. Hope in this world is main­tained because of good souls like this lady.

    Many peo­ple heal through work and the enthu­si­asm that many peo­ple show and involve them­selves is sad­ly not rec­og­nized by many peo­ple who man­age teams with­in organizations.

    God bless this lady. Thank you for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence and intro­duc­ing her through your writing. 

    Lali­ta

  • Dear Lali­ta~

    Thank you so much for writ­ing. Part of what I am learn­ing from respons­es to this post is how invis­i­ble heal­ing through work may be and the oppor­tu­ni­ty and hope lost as a result.

    I total­ly agree — “Hope in this world is main­tained because of good souls” like the con­fer­ence organizer.

    So often, we just don’t know what might be going on behind the scenes with peo­ple and we make all kinds of assump­tions. The sto­ry she shared was not what I expect­ed at all — it blew me away and even after many years I’m still processing!

    All the best, Lali­ta, and thank you again for stop­ping by.

    ~Dan

  • A very mov­ing sto­ry, Dan, and one that I’ve hap­pi­ly shared with my net­works. When human beings are will­ing to take rad­i­cal action — as this woman was/is — real change and heal­ing can take place.

    Thanks for being part of the change and the humanness.

  • Dear Stan~

    Like­wise, much appre­ci­a­tion to you, Stan. Always great to find anoth­er kin­dred spirit. 

    All the best!
    ~Dan

  • […] The Woman Who Went To Work To Heal by Dan Oestreich […]

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