The way you make me feel

Not me exactly but people in general. The late Maya Angelou said ‘…people will never forget how you made them feel’ and I’ve come to realise recently that she is absolutely right.

When you meet people, work with them, spend any time with them at all, the residual feelings tend to be more about who you are than what you said or did, this is the same when you move on to a new business role or a different company. People may not remember every project you worked on – each success or failure you experienced (they tend to remember the failures more but that’s another story), but they will recall what kind of person you are, how you conducted yourself and how you made them feel about themselves.

I remember a lot about the many people I’ve worked with and for at the different companies I’ve experienced, thankfully most of the memories are positive. All of the experiences have allowed me to learn! There have of course been a few colleagues and managers along the way who have made me feel disappointed; those for whom their personal values aren’t in line with mine, their work ethic and manners. The way they treat others fall short of how I expect grown ups to behave…. I am lucky enough though to have (in the main) mostly met people who are extremely empowering; giving others the tools and self-belief to be the best they possibly can. I have had the privilege to have experienced some excellent managers who truly made me feel valued and supported, and allowed me to flourish in my role. As I said, it’s the way they made me feel that I remember, not the individual projects we worked on together (although driving round Silverstone in a Ginetta G40 is an amazing experience I will never forget ).

With this being the case, surely it’s important that we act, in the work place, the home, our lives in general, in a way in which we would want to be remembered for. We should be kind, thoughtful, considerate and accepting of compromise where possible – all the behaviours we try to teach our children from a very early age. It seems to me that too many large businesses and corporations, and their ‘corporate’ employees, view situations solely in relation to ‘the bottom line’ or their business results when all the while business should be about people. Business, whether B2B or B2C involves contact with very real people who all have their own lives, emotions, issues and values, which should be respected.

I’m not saying that we should compromise our own ideas and beliefs for the sake of others’ but that we should do our best to consider how our words and actions may affect those with whom we do business. Just take extra second to pause for thought and think, ‘Do I want to be remembered for this….?’

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