The Power in Seeing People Right Where They Are
Kristen had always been a good student, but when her grades began to drop dramatically, a teacher pulled her aside, looked her in the eye and asked, “Are you okay?” She felt it was the first time someone was really seeing her. That teacher’s concern instilled in her the need to see the whole person at any given moment in time.
Kristen Ivy is the executive director of messaging at The reThink Group, commonly referred to as Orange, and the director of The Phase Project. By using child development research, she educates parents and equips them with immediately applicable, easy ways to connect with their kids, based on their age and developmental phase. Before beginning her career at Orange in 2006, she worked in the public school system as a high school Biology and English teacher where she learned firsthand the joy and importance of influencing the next generation.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“In school, teachers tended to lean into me to suggest that I was a leader. They put me in leadership positions, whether it was leading the classroom or a club, or taking initiative to drive something. I don’t know that I would have sought out those opportunities on my own until they were handed to me. I began to ask myself why I was getting these opportunities and how could I be responsible with the opportunities I was given.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“What stands out as most formative was when I was in 8th grade. I was in the midst of an upheaval in my family life, with all the emotions, and wasn’t doing well in school. In fact, I was tanking. A language arts teacher took me aside. I expected a reprimand, but she looked me straight in the face and asked, ‘Are you OK?’ She looked at a low performance issue and knew it was actually a heart thing. There was something going on in my heart and life, and she could see it was spilling out into these other areas. It felt like the first time somebody was really seeing me and seeing what was going on. Since then, I’ve always wanted to be that person who can see the people who aren’t being seen.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“If I could say one thing to any college student or any young adult, it would be: Go in the area of your passion, because that is where you have something unique. Following what you’re interested in is one of the best things you can do, because that’s what enables you to make a distinctive contribution. So often, we undervalue our own talents and strengths, because they come naturally to us. We don’t realize they are not natural to everybody else around us.”
On Her Bookshelf
Phase Guides, by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner – an 18-part series of guides to help parents, for every phase from birth through 18
Parenting Your New Baby: A Guide to Making the Most of the “I Need You Now” Phase, by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner – Part of Phase Guides series
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, by Jon Acuff
Do Over: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career, by Jon Acuff
Steps to Success from Kristen Ivy
1. Pay attention to your passions. They are your best guide to the path that’s right for you.
2. Recognize your unique talents. No one else has them in precisely the way you do. They’re what will enable you to make a distinctive contribution.
3. See each individual as a whole person and relate to them where they are on their life’s journey.
Connecting With Kristen Ivy
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Careers: Child Development, Teaching/Teacher
Topics: In the moment, Passion, Whole person