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Dealing with conflict

I had another lollipop moment a few years ago.  I had a student in the PhD program relate an experience to me.  

He said back in the early 2000s, when he took one of my online construction management courses, a simple act of kindness not only helped him from drowning in grief, but also helped him finish his bachelors degree and now he was now earning his doctorate.  Instead, he could have been a college drop out.  

He had not participated in the course for a week or so, and this was unusual.  I reached out to him to see if everything was OK, and he called me.  He told me his world was spiraling out of control.  His son had just died, and he could not concentrate on schoolwork.  I offered my sympathy, and I told him I would do whatever he needed me to do.  If he needed to withdraw, I would help him, and if he wanted to continue the course, I would help him catch up.  A day or so later, he called and said he wanted to stay in the class.  I worked with him, and he completed the course.  

About eight years had passed by the time he was telling me the story. He said if I had not checked on him, he would have just dropped out.  Not only did he earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he was now getting his PhD.  

Here is the interesting part of that story………I did not remember doing this.  But he did.  And that is what is important.  Sometimes we touch lives by being in service and by practicing kindness, and we don’t even know it.  

By the way, they are called lollipop moments based on a Ted Talk by Drew Dudley who relates this to leadership.  If you have an opportunity google it and watch his video