The challenge of being frank even when it’s risky

Speaking the truth is so important to me. Yet speaking up about an injustice that we’re not sure other people want to discuss is a hard thing; especially for a woman.

Assertive women get such a bad rap. When we say things that others perceive as difficult or unpleasant we get called names. When men do it, they’re being leaders. At least this was often my experience as a younger woman. Lately that seems to be changing.

This past week I was blessed to have my frankness about the subject I spoke up about well received. And I was able to help a friend and cherished client out of a bad situation that was draining his well being.

Many people around this client had witnessed the same thing I had witnessed but felt powerless to do anything about it. Knowing they had already spoken up made it more difficult for me to make the decision to bring my own concerns into my dialogue with this client; however, because I know that we can never really know whether one more observation about an unhealthy situation might be the thing to tip the scales I ventured into the difficult discussion with a clear heart. I held no expectation about the outcome. I just knew I had to communicate my concern.

The blessing in all of this is that at a time in my life when I needed to be needed, I was.  My client admitted I was right and empowered me instantly to step in and do something about the horrific situation.  So in the end I was able to deliver this person that I care about from a case of verbal and emotional bullying and potentially criminal elder abuse.

The fact that everyone involved graciously thanked me over and over for my forthrightness and the risk that I took truly made me feel that I had been of service;  not only to not only another human being but his extended circle of family and associates.

All I had to do was speak my mind and then do something when I was asked to.

The gift of this experience was priceless.

~

{Photo: This frolicking little girl captured playing freely outside reminds me how carefree I want to be about speaking up when I feel strongly about something.}

 

By | 2018-01-30T01:51:50+00:00 June 7th, 2009|Patient Empowerment, Word Medicine|3 Comments

About the Author:

Allison Peacock is a Spiritual Wellness Practitioner and the Practice Manager at Lake Travis Integrative Medicine. A mind-body medicine expert for more than three decades, she is a passionate teacher of Integrative Medicine approaches, including self-care, building resilience, spiritual transformation, self-regulation and Earth-honoring spirituality.

3 Comments

  1. Julia Kernaghan August 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Hiya Allison

    You are right to speak out. I agree that such is better received with advancing age! Very annoying, but true. I have had similar experience.

    For the past couple of years at work I have learned that often it is NOT prudent to point out errors in copy.. (I have a natural talent for spotting errors and gramatical inconsistencies). People generally don’t like to hear this because it means:

    1. Someone else didn’t spot it first (usually the person you are talking to)
    2. Materials may be further down the line than preferred and this means multiple changes to the legal process we are bound by
    3. If people are intrinsically lazy this is even worse for them
    4. If the materials are at production stage it costs money

    Certain managers would not support my asking to have these inconsistencies/errors highlighted.

    Therefore this week, when I noticed glaring errors, typos, grammatical problems and such in a document that was presumed to be at final sign off globally, I was concerned about mentioning this to the relevant person (who works in France, and I don’t know personally). My NEW manager, however, said that such comments would be welcome. It would either be

    1. Too late to amend; or
    2. In time to amend, and amendment would result in better public opinion of the company via publications

    I did agree with this, and so my Manager agreed to forward my comments and the marked up document to the guy in France.

    Result: he was delighted as was operating with a skeleton crew of staff and there had been no time to check the document internally…

    I really like my new boss and his approach. It is no-nonsense and pragmatic.

    So there’s my little view on speaking out.. (but not about an injustice)

    2.

    • Allison Peacock August 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Great points, Jules. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment. I’ve been away from the computer for a long time. Your comment is the perfect kick in the pants that I need to get back to blogging. The boxes are about 70% unpacked and the internet is up…so there’s no excuse. Hugs, Allison

  2. Joni James October 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Nicely done, Allison. Truth is always the best road to take. But taking a moment to think if that truth needs to be voiced is another level of care you took with this client. Nice call!

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