If you’ve ever ridden in a boat, and looked out the back, you always see a wake from the propulsion system creating waves and turbulence in the water. Depending on the speed and angle of the turns of the boat, the wake has varying degrees of significance. Those in the water close after the boat passes definitely know what impact the wake has on them as they go bobbing around, and when higher speeds or sharp turns are involved it can pose quite a concern.
We humans are like boats in the water. We go about our days passing people in a variety of ways. Yes we encounter others in the physical sense, in close quarters at home, work, or social places, and we also connect via all the electronic media we use to get in touch. Yet we almost never really slow down enough to think about how we are showing up with others, and what our interactions cause to stir up within those we engage. Every action has a reaction, and every word has an interpretation. Every piece of body language sends multiple messages out into the ether. The question is, are you aware of the impact of your wake?
With my coaching clients I love to use the word ‘wake’ because we all know what it means, and it is the root of another word – ‘awake.’ To wake is to become roused from some previous space of sleep, tranquility, or inactivity. To awaken is to become aware of where you are, to see clearly what is really going on around you, and to stay awake to what’s happening. To awaken is to have a ‘boat’ pass close enough by you to shake a wake of turbulence into your mental state.
Are you awake enough to know what impact you have on others? Do you know what impact you have on those around you? Are you aware of the affects you have, in body, words and deeds on all the others you encounter during the days of your life?
I invite you to think about how, and who, you touch, think about how you show up for them, and how you make their moments go either to some positive or negative place. If you are not sure what impact you have, I invite you to go ask them. Set up a brief meeting and ask a few simple yet very revealing questions such as:
– Tell me one or two things about the way I show up with you, and communicate with you, that you truly appreciate?
– Tell me one or two things about the way I show up with you, and communicate with you, that you really don’t’ like, or struggle with?
– Tell me what you’d like to see different from me (start doing or stop doing) that would make a positive impact on our relationship?
By being mindful of how we make a difference to those around us can shift relationships quickly, can lead to improved productivity and reduce errors or misunderstandings. Being mindful of your wake significantly reduces incorrect assumptions others may carry which can make relationships messy and unstable. Being awakened to your wake will make a huge difference in yours and those around you.
Be awake to your wake – it can make all the difference in how you show up in your world, and how your world shows up for you!