I liken myself in many ways to a butterfly. A typical week for me involves meeting a lot of different people in many varied environments, also communicating frequently through social media with people from around the world, on many contrasting subjects. I know a lot of people, and a lot of people know me. In fact strangely, I know many more people now, than when I was travelling the world for my work.
The reason for this weeks post is that I was extremely moved by a gesture made to me by one of my fellow patients, which prompted me to think about life, for the entire duration of that session, (approx 4 hours.) As most of you may know, we are in the month of Ramadan. On my rota of treatment, is a Muslim lady who speaks very little English. When we see each other, we wave, and wish each other luck. There seems to be a universal language that everyone understands, when you have cancer!
As soon as I walked into the room, I acknowledged everyone, but her face lit up and her son rushed over to me with a bag. This bag contained a bottle of beautiful aftershave, to celebrate Ramadan!! Wow, that absolutely blew me away. What a lovely thought.
At the end of my session, one of the staff approached me and had seen what had happened. She told me that so many of the patients and staff within the department ask about me. I had no idea. She explained the positive impact I had on everyone. My interpretation was, I came to the ward, said hello to everyone, settled into my chair, and listened to my music. Ok, I did do a bit of chatting 🙂 But that is just my way.
If I am honest, I have not really consciously considered the impact that I may have on other peoples lives, for a long time. Maybe stretching back to when I was learning my trade as a salesman. Then, my income depended on it, so I always thought long and hard about my approach to customers. Even then, I never considered talking to people a ‘science.’ Be polite, show a genuine interest in the person you are talking to, and make them feel comfortable in your presence, were my basic rules. I use the same ones when engaging on social media.
These days we tend to have very little time for reflection, in our day to day lives, and I doubt if many of us even think about the effect we may have on other people, as we go about our daily chores. If I was working, I probably wouldn’t either! But when I dig deeper into my own relationships, there are always certain people I am happy to see or hear from, as often as possible, but others not so.
We are all different of course, it’s a wonderful world with the variety of people, and we reflect our individual personalities wherever we go. Of course it is impossible to be ‘all things to all men,’ but all relationships need some give and take, and work best when both parties do a bit of each!
The ‘cancer world’ has introduced me to so many incredible people, both professionals and patients. It has placed me into situations I have never ever experienced, and I have had to do things in the way that I consider to be right. It is like learning a new business, and starting as an apprentice, but it seems that my basic principles of communication have served me well.
We get very little time, to make an impression, and people are very quick to make up their minds about us. My aims is always to try and leave a positive memory. Are you conscious of the impact you may have on other people?