You just never know who you are impacting with what you say, do, or write. Twice over the past few weeks I have had close friends tell me how a specific blog post that I have written has spurned them to think about some part of their life and has encouraged them to work on a change in that area. Then, this weekend, I ran into a friend who I haven’t seen in awhile and he told me that he has enjoyed reading my blog and appreciated the insights.
AsI was sipping my coffee on Sunday morning I got to thinking about how we impact people’s lives and don’t even know it and it reminded me of the picture above that I took this week of my son, Jack. Jack had finished swim lessons and we were waiting for his sister and he was reading this poster out in the lobby. I don’t even remember what it was for, but he certainly was absorbing it. He’s shown a recent interest in running, swimming, and biking so maybe he’s contemplating a triathlon?!?! Whatever he was reading is sure to come up in conversation this week.
What has been so impactful about those comments my friends made and my son’s curious interest in reading everything around him is that it is a reminder to me that the words that I speak and write, and the actions in my life ARE VERY IMPORTANT because people are listening and watching. In a world where it seems like everyone is only worried about themselves and rushing so fast they aren’t paying attention to anything, the reality is that everyone is still actually searching for answers and direction in their own lives (me included). You never know when a kind word in an email about something positive you saw someone do will encourage them to greater achievements. You never know when being kind and polite to your spouse in day to day interactions will be witnessed by your kids and replicated with their friends. You never know when telling a cashier or service provider how much you appreciate the work they do will add enough meaning in their life to keep them going one more day. And you never know what sort of impact you are having (good and bad) with the things you post on social media.
As I start a new week of business interactions and life to be lived, I’m going to keep in mind how powerful my words and actions can be sometimes. I don’t expect to move mountains with my wisdom this week or seal the greatest business deal of my life with slick-talking closing skills this week. What I DO EXPECT FROM MYSELF this week is to treat others with kindness, regardless of how they treat me; encourage the people I love about the strengths I see in them; commit to consensus building and honesty in all of my business dealings; and stay present with people in conversation so that I can really LISTEN to what they are saying so I can provide timely and creative insights. I think if I can do those things, no matter who is listening, reading, or watching they will walk away better than before they crossed my path.