Earlier this week I had a revelation. People read what I write and listen to what I have to say. It’s funny because I don’t often think about the people who read this blog and don’t leave a comment or contact me directly. Apparently, my thoughts and ideas influence others and not just those within the human resource profession. This has always been my goal but when you are punching keys behind a monitor or speaking in front of a large crowd at an event, it might not feel that way.
Regardless of our blog traffic, our twitter followers, or the number of friends of family members we talk to and interact with everyday, the reality is that our words and actions are being evaluated and watched by others. People we conversate both good and bad process the information and our auctions many different ways. That’s a huge amount of responsibility when you consider the impact your own words or auctions can have on influencing others.
This understanding of impact is described as emotional intelligence and was a session at the Southwest Regional Human Resource Conference this past week. While I wasn’t able to attend the presentation, the tweets from Steve Boese and others got me thinking. (Steve’s article, HR Southwest – Do I have to talk about my feelings? )
Are we living our lives with emotional intelligence? Do you have the ability to manage your relationships with others so that you can live your intentions and values?
But more importantly, what if your values or beliefs are not shared with or by others? Does this make you a bad person to someone of little worth or value? And if so, what gives a person the right to determine this? If your values or belief system, doesn’t align with another, do basic human qualities like respect and dignity no longer apply?
Last week you may have read about a talented, young man age 19 from Norman, Oklahoma, who committed suicide several days after attending a very heated and ugly discussion regarding the city recognizing October as GLBT (Gays, Lesbian, Bi, Trans-gender) month. He sat in a room full of adults and influencers of children, their family, and the community making statements and comments without consequence. Their words and conversations influencing others and shaping the reality and perception of those that sat in the city council meeting room.
And those in attendance included my cousin, Zach Harrington, the talented, young gay man age 19 from Norman, Oklahoma who committed suicide a week ago today.
I’m not here to debate religion, politics, or public policy with this post. I’m here to make you aware about the importance of values and emotional intelligence. Reminding yourself that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and that there is no possible way to judge others without having walked a mile in their shoes. Our family is grieving a young man who was struggling to understand and learn who he was and find his place in this world. His battle really no different than our own.
For the last five years since moving to Oklahoma, I have volunteered and worked with an organization called HeartLine that seeks to provide suicide awareness, prevention training, and 24 hour assistance for family members, friends, and persons throughout Oklahoma. I’ve donated hours, money, sweat and tears to an organization that seeks to help people like my cousin before it’s too late.
Take accountability for your actions and know that you are influencing people more than you can imagine. Consider living your life with emotional intelligence.