What is your legacy?

Every day we touch many lives. We have a big impact often without even knowing it, and these interactions can be good or bad. We spend a lot of time looking for training and ways to expand our professional skills, but are we as keen to develop ourselves and our behaviour?

I don’t think we all need to rush out and get an armful of self-help books, but we do need to invest some time to consider what we do and how people view us. Are we able to encourage a supporting environment or do we create stress for those around us?

One difficult question is what your legacy will be. A way of thinking this through –  that I have been doing as part of my latest online MOOC – is to think of those people who have really helped you to get where you are. What was it they did and said, and how did it help you? Most people will come up with parents and probably one or two people they have worked with.

After that you have to consider who would put you on their list of people who had a positive impact on them? Would there be a few people or no-one? Are you a positive person to be around or do you share your bad feelings?

I know I don’t want to be a continued source of stress and negativity within the team. Yes, I will have bad days but these should have a limited impact on anyone else. What I don’t want is to think that my interactions could have been more positive and I have missed the opportunity. My legacy needs to be that I have supported and helped people as well as doing the day-to-day work.

But if we are to have a positive legacy then we need to first recognise that we are not perfect, we need help and we need to spend some time reviewing how people perceive what we do, say and how we behave. Now is definitely the time to do it, there is no time to wait.

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