I watched ‘The King’s Speech’ recently: if you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that Lionel Logue, the speech specialist, didn’t recognise the Duchess of York when she called at his offices: a reminder of a time before social media, even before ubiquitous TV ownership. Lionel Logue and the Duke of York have a somewhat stormy relationship at first but once the Duke has become King George VI, he returns to Logue for further help conquering his stammer. His wife accompanies him and is waiting in the parlour when Logue’s wife, Myrtle, returns home from bridge. Here’s an extract from the script:
Myrtle has entered, she is flabbergasted.
It’s “Your Majesty”, the first time. After that, “Ma’am”, as in ham, not Ma’lm as in palm.
….I’m informed your husband calls my husband Bertie and my husband calls your husband Lionel. I trust you won’t call me Liz.
Your Majesty, you may call me Mrs Logue, Ma’am.
Very nice to meet you, Mrs Logue
I love the way that the Queen immediately deals with this rather tricky situation and puts Myrtle at ease, or as much at ease as possible! I can’t imagine what it would be like to come home and find a member of the royal family sitting at the table. The Queen was clearly aware of the impact her presence had on other people.
Are we aware of the effect we have on others? What impact does our behaviour have on our colleagues, our direct reports, our peers, our families and our friends? As a senior manager, do you make it a point to acknowledge the greetings of a more junior employee when she passes you on the stairs? Does it irritate you when a waiter or shop assistant serves you in an offhanded manner? What message does your direct report get when you cancel his one-to-one at the last minute? What difference does it make when you sit down with a colleague over coffee and really listen to what she has to say rather than seeing it as an opportunity to offload your hassle too?
Maya Angelou said, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
Today’s pebble for you to contemplate: How do you make other people feel?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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