Today's piece is a lovely contribution from Sarah Parrott, a Co-Founder of the #BeTheRipple movement.
Sarah and I have never met in person, but we have been connected on Twitter for several months and 'see' each other most Saturday nights at the #HRPubQuiz, which is run by Selena Govier. We stay in touch through chat during the week and I now class Sarah, and other quizzers, as not only online connections in my network, but also as friends.
The two main things that Sarah holds close are being a single parent to a lively 8 year old son and an HR career in the Civil Service, where she has worked for over 10 years in a range of roles. She began her HR career on the back of a personal situation which challenged her to think about what she wanted from her future. She's always been inspired and interested in people and has been lucky to embrace a career within the HR Profession. For the past 5 years she's worked as part of an L&D function leading on development for managers and senior leaders and more recently she has been involved in projects to tackle inappropriate workplace behaviours. She believes that everyone should be able to go to their workplace and be treated with dignity and respect as a minimum - totally in line with the ethos of the #BeTheRipple movement.
You can see more about Sarah's professional background in her LinkedIn profile: Here and you can find her on Twitter as @resilimum.
Over to Sarah:
They Didn't Know
They didn't know, they weren't aware, I don't think it was their fault.
I asked for feedback but what came back, harsh words lobbed as an assault.
I don't know if my face and body showed it
The startled rabbit inside.
Which way to look, which comment to take. I want to run away.
It wasn't meant to be like this. I just wanted to seek some views.
Help me do my best work please and I would help you too.
Afterwards the shame came, I marched quickly on my way.
Trying to process what had happened to me on that very day.
I still recall that walk away, tears burning down my face.
Battling the adult voice inside, angry at my mistake.
What did I do, I don't understand how it ended up so unkind.
I don't think they knew, weren't aware, the impact they just had.
I felt so cross, upset this happened what was it about me.
We aren't there to tear one another down I thought, there must be better ways.
Be curious, courteous, help people through their day.
On reflection often in the moment we don't always understand our impact even when we start with good intent. I'd ask us all to reflect a little on how we show up and react and think through our intended impact and if it is congruent with what we set out to achieve.
What happened to me on this day, wasn't pleasant, I felt like a victim yet I didn't know why. This is a snapshot into how an event of people's actions can impact another person and have a lasting effect and made me think about this in the world of work and what it means to be kinder...
Kindness allows open conversations, unkind stifles words.
Kindness can build engagement, unkind shuts it down.
Kindness brings understanding, unkind closes minds.
Kindness fosters trust, unkind sends waves of fear.
I am really passionate about being part of the Be the Ripple movement and I offer up this - Try to approach the world with kindness and think of all the gifts it could bring.
Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing this emotive piece, it gives a real sense of the feelings that she experienced and how she was made to feel like a "victim".
Sarah's piece is a useful reminder of how important it is for us to give and receive constructive feedback at work. As her work illustrates, if feedback is not delivered with care, respect and kindness, it can have a negative and lasting impact on the recipient.
If you feel that you or your team need development in the area of 'Giving and Receiving Feedback', please take a look at the resource base at the following link:
https://padlet.com/joanna_suvarna/Giving_Feedback - If you have any useful resources or tips to add, please feel free to add them, either to the comments section, or directly on the Padlet itself.
Thank you once again to Sarah for this thought-provoking piece, a wonderful reminder that we need to show care, kindness and empathy in all our interactions with others in the workplace.
If you would like to submit a blog for this series, please send your work via email to: email@example.com.
See you tomorrow for the next instalment!
#Kindness #BeTheRippleBlogs #BeKind #feedback #workplace
You can find PDFs of all blog pieces: