What’s Your Wake | Video
What’s the Aftertaste You Leave Behind in a Conversation | Video
A few years ago, I was leading a 2-day offsite with about 50 executives. There were a lot of moving parts. I woke up with my mind spinning, my adrenaline pumped and feeling rushed. I wasn’t really conscious of my mood; my mind was focused on getting things done. As I went to the meeting room and started getting ready for the day, I noticed that a number of people sort of looked at me strangely. Almost backing away from me. Then I went to my boss and his eyes got big. Because we had a great relationship, he teased me and said, “Ok. Yes, Ma’am!”
In that moment, I paused and I realized, my feeling, my internal state was a little bit like a bulldozer. My internal state, my feeling, was getting the reaction. Not my words. My words were not abrupt, or short but the feeling that came with them was something like… “hurry up”, “get going”, “why haven’t you done this already.” My feeling was serious, overpowering, rushed and intense.
And here’s the thing, I didn’t really mean it that way. I was enjoying the offsite. I loved what happened on the first day and was excited to see what might unfold on this one. But because I was feeling internally intense about getting things done and I can have a tendency to be driven, that was the tone I was setting with everyone.
This is something, I refer to as our “wake”. Just like a boat leaves a wake, we do too.
What is the feeling you leave behind when you leave a room? When you leave a conversation? The aftertaste or the residue?
This is often misunderstood or underappreciated. We try to get our heads right about what to say, how it needs to be said but the real potency and impact comes from our internal feeling – where we “come from”.
As Maya Angelou has famously said, “People won’t remember what you said but they’ll remember how you made them feel.”
We can all think of personal examples when we’ve been on the receiving end of someone saying something but their internal feeling is completely opposite. That is us experiencing their emotional wake.
When we respect and appreciate the power of our “wake”, we take our ability to influence, build relationships and lead others to a whole new level.
Listen in to this week’s video when I share a specific example involving one leader and the toll his wake was having on others and ultimately his own career.
“The real potency and impact of leadership is derived from our internal feeling – where we come from.”
Our emotional wake is the story that gets told about us. It’s the story that gets told when we’re not in the room.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Insta