It had been 6 years since Tim and I last connected. We used to work together for a marketing firm (technically I was his manager), I was in the early stages of my career and Tim had just started – we had a lot of fun together and we did some great work.
Two weeks ago we reconnected and were reminiscing about the “good ol days”…it brought back many fond memories. Tim shared a particular story about his uncle passing away.
While at work, Tim received a phone call from his mom informing him that his uncle had died. He was stunned. Shocked. He was somewhat confused as to what to do next because there were business deadlines that needed to be met and his family needed him (and he needed his family).
As Tim replays the event he tells me that I slowed him down, put my hands on his shoulders and said, “you need to go and be with your family, we will figure out the business. Just get home”
He continues the story – “the day after the funeral , you asked me to your house to chat and check in. We had a great talk about my uncle and life. I left your house saying wow, that guy gets people”.
Tim looks at me and says, “I will never forget that and I will always be grateful, thank-you.”
It filled me up to hear the impact I had on Tim. It was an amazing feeling. Now here’s the thing, I had forgotten that story. As Tim retold the story, I recalled that moment but it is not a story I remember and reflect upon, the memory is there but it is in the deep recess of my brain.
I had forgotten the moment NOT because I was disingenuous or insincere but rather because I was genuine and sincere. I did what came naturally too me. I did what I thought was right for my friend Tim, I was not thinking of me in that moment.
I wanted to share this story not to boast but rather to illustrate the impact our actions have on others, especially those actions that come natural to us. Like it or not, how we are directly affects other people, situations and outcomes. We are pretty powerful!
Our actions and words create a ripple effect having an impact further beyond the initial moment. Further beyond our imagination. Whether we are intentional or not, our behaviour has a residual repercussions influencing many people and outcomes, positively and negatively. We will never know the full degree of the ripple effect from our actions, all the more reason to be mindful in the momemt.
What ripple effect are you having?