"Don't make me cry" The Value of a Classroom where you can Be Vulnerable

"Don't make me cry this time" said one of the leaders who was in my afternoon class "Managers who Motivate". I had worked with this group last year at a program called Institute--a four year certification program for Chamber Professionals. It is one of my MOST favorite things I do. In our class last year lots of vulnerable and hard stuff happened that day--it was cathartic and necessary and good. There were lots of tears.

"I don't think there are any crying moments in today's class so we should be good." I laughed.

When we started class I said "OK what's good? Tell me about great things that have happened since we were together last year" and oh the amazing stories I heard.

--A 40 under 40 in her community

--Named woman of the year

--Facilitated a youth conference and used my "Your Three Words" activity and two volunteers came out to the group (wow! what a risk) and the group was supportive, kind, loving toward them

--Found the courage to let someone go after our class

--Found the courage to have the tough conversation

--Is RUNNING FOR STATE CONGRESSMAN (and asked me to coach him for speaking events to which I said "I gotta know your platform brother before I can do that!")

That's the good stuff.

And then she raised her hand. She was crying before she even got a word out.

"I left here and found the courage to get a divorce."

Wow oh wow.

"I had known for a while but could not muster the courage to face this reality. My marriage was over."

People programs like this don't just change us when we go back to work. They change us when we go home too. For her that meant leaving a marriage. And look--I don't celebrate the end of a marriage. But I am old enough and been around the block to know that for her that was the way forward.

I have had other people tell me their marriage was saved. They became better parents etc.

Whatever it is, it is.

Damn. I have the best job.