|Take care in what you say!|
Many years ago a professor said something that altered my life. Strange that in speaking with him recently he never realized the profound effect from a simple comment yelled at me when he was busy. I have mentioned the comment in this blog previously and it can be found here.
In a recent discussion with a friend, I relayed the story of the professor. I was amazed the professor did not even remember the comment and said, “I hope I said it nicer than that.” While my friend and I were talking, he brought up a key point; profound changes in peoples’ lives can come from any onetime comment and the effects can be positive or negative. That day in graduate school the comment was hard for me to take, but within a month, I made something positive from it. I could have taken the comment and easily gone in a negative direction. A different comment may have changed me more negatively or positively.
In managing people, we often forget the effect of our words on those around us. It is easy to say something that can hurt or help, in addition, it may leave a positive or negative imprint on the future of an individual. We often do not know how our message is received and likely forget what was said.
A simple statement or direction given to someone may have no meaning to you. You may never remember saying it. With this in mind, it is important that agile thinking also include taking care of what and how we convey a message to others. The message may impact someone in a manner you never envisioned.
Who would have thought that I still recall what was said to me 40 years ago. I remember being angry and depressed because I did not get what I wanted. My thoughts of being forced to do something I thought impossible did not help either. Yet today, I hold those words to be sound advice and would pass them along to anyone. Hard to believe!
The point of this discussion is that more agile thinkers realize they may impact others. They try to build their team up and use them properly. They encourage and teach them. They make every effort to communicate more clearly. It is important to remember that those statements you make may affect someone in ways you never expected and you will never know it. Try to encourage those you interact with and learn to help them to become better than they might be otherwise. You may just create a friend for life!
Taffy Williams is the author of: Think Agile: How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon