The Impact or your Actions

Have you even witnessed a situation where one person quite literally left another person in shambles, and had no idea of the devastation left behind? I have seen individuals visibly shocked, if hot traumatized after a nasty encounter with a boss. I have then heard those same bosses later discussing the incident very matter-of-factly, framing it as nothing more than regular “constructive feedback.” To them it was no big deal. To the recipients of the beatdown, it left some deep scarring.

You might be asking how can people be so blind. (I also ask how they got to their current positions, but that is another conversation.) You have no doubt heard of the notion of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is one of the key components of emotional intelligence and there seem to be numbers of people who slept in the day this capability was passed out.

We all have occasional lapses, but my guess is you have come across many, especially in the workplace, who don’t demonstrate much of clue about the impact their actions and behaviors have on others. And I love the excuses. “Oh, Jack is a tech guy, he is just not good with people.” Or, “Laura is just a bit of an over-emotional extravert. She doesn’t mean anything by it.” Sorry for the crudeness, but that is pure crap in both cases.

Your words and actions have impact on others, and that impact may be different than your intentions. And to not care about or simply excuse away a non-productive or even damaging encounter is simply not acceptable. As a leader, you own the outcome of the conversation or interaction, so pay attention to it. Don’t leave people crawling injured through the rubble after an unexpected explosion. Rather, do your best to leave them energized and confident to accomplish even more.

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