Impactful Workplace Moments (in memory of Laura Eng)
This past weekend, I attended a funeral for a dear friend and colleague. She was an effervescent woman, generous with her time and talents. Her baking would leave you wishing that gluten and lactose intolerances are mythological, and her genuine chuckles seemed to fill the air from day to day.
I met Laura while working in my first full-time office position, many years ago. We never worked together directly, but I was always drawn to her presence. When she would visit the office, she would ask me about my experience, provide pearls of wisdom and poke fun at ridiculous nuances of the work. Although I was shy, and sometimes struggled with the challenging demands and expectations of my role, I felt at ease in Laura's presence. I felt that I belonged to the team, even though it wasn't hers to nurture.
What I love about coaching is that it provides a genuine space for building relationships. She was a social butterfly, whose impact continues to inspire me today. In the days leading up to the funeral, and during the event itself, I was amazed to see how many friends and colleagues of mine knew Laura; these were people I'd known in completely different circles, but drawn to that same positive energy.
Never underestimate the impact of your presence in the workplace. The way you look up at people, or refuse to share your gaze; your stature and focus as you roam the halls are moments which knit the fabric of another person's overall experience. Look someone in the eyes and say hello. Stop and stand with them, awaiting their response. Grant them a salutation and then go along your way. Conversations such as this can build open cultures of communication, simply through your effort and focus. Share an appropriate bit of information about your life, and see how workplace culture builds.
Laura was a social and conversational gem. A gentle maverick whose care and kindness will never be lost or forgotten. Her poise, and thoughtful attention is a lesson I will always carry with me, and earnestly share.