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Over the last few weeks I have been in thought about someone that wasn’t necessarily my close friend, but was someone admired for their work ethic, steady demeanour and then one day…he was suddenly gone. He was a gent…. He was kinda gruff, but that was his charm. He worked hard, he served and most importantly he set a great example as a team player… I don’t believe I ever mentioned to him exactly how I admired what I just described to you.

Of course, once he was gone, we gathered to celebrate and hear further about the impact his life had on his family and close friends. I wonder what would happen if we had living celebrations for those around us? No, really, think about that for a second? I know, I know – the introvert in many of us is screaming out “PLEASE, NO!”.. So, I think you get the concept.

I know, it is somewhat natural for humans to reflect on their own mortality in the face of death or significant adversity. That said, we as grow older and we start to get calls about friends, family and acquaintances passing, it really just made me think about whether I let those around me know how much I value them… When I close out an interaction, have I let people know I valued the interaction? Are they aware I appreciated the skills and abilities they bring to the workplace or a personal interaction? Maybe, selfishly they make me feel better about myself because they are a great encourager? Or maybe, it is a difficult conversation…Even if I disagree, can we disagree about an issue and find common ground as friends or colleagues?

I cannot put finger on what that barrier is exactly that prevents us from recognizing or encouraging those around us. Is it pride? Is it a competitive spirit? Professionally, if I let people know I value what someone else brings to the table and I promote their skills to others, does that mean the spotlight is less on me and I lose an opportunity in the future? Do I feel threatened by their abilities or presence for some reason? It could be a result of a relationship eroding and becoming broken, affecting how you interact? Maybe a colleague or peer moves on before you have had a chance to tell them how you value them, or you just seem have a fear or issue being able to tell someone how you value them. Worst case scenario someone in our circle of connections passes away and we did not get the chance say how we felt. Regrettably, we can all likely relate to one of those situations at one time or another and the question then is do we do anything different?

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure at this point, maybe it is a combination of a few things I described in conjunction with other environmental factors. The good thing about blogging is the cathartic process you go through to further test your own assumptions. This post is meant as a moment of reflection and a reminder (mostly for me).

So, in honour of a guy who always worked hard and had a tremendous impact on his inner circle and teammates – I have 3 things to commit to in our daily interactions….

  1. We have all been given the ability to encourage each other in whatever we do – so lets actually do it…When you don’t feel like it, is exactly the time when you should! It may feel unnatural at first – but don’t worry, it will pass the more you do it, so push through and just do it anyways…
  2. Say thank you to those you disagree with, or that disagree with you for having the guts to tell you they have a difference of opinion and for showing you a different perspective…
  3. Ask those in your inner circle what their goals and dreams are for their life and how you can help them get there. The great thing about this tip, it means we actually have to spend time listening to those close to us… Then, actually commit to playing your part, whatever that is…

So, not to make this post any longer than it has to be, I guess in answer to my question, it would appear as though it can be too late to tell them. So… lets make everyday count when we can!

To my teammate, thank you for your inspiration and what you brought to the team everyday. I am sorry I never got to tell you what I admired about you.. I know I have some work to do going forward!