It’s the People You Meet
A jingle from a lifetime ago about people popped into my head the other day.
Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
Well, they’re the people that you meet
When you’re walking down the street
They’re the people that you meet each day.
That’s right — Sesame Street. It’s a song that introduces children to a variety of people and professions.
As you might know, I’ve been traveling non-stop since the first of the year. If you’re following me on social media, you’ve seen me post pictures from Taiwan, Beijing, and Korea. I’ve spent time in New York and Chicago, and now I’m home in Salt Lake for a few days.
Though they live outside my literal neighborhood, I’ve been thinking about the hundreds — possibly thousands — of people I’ve met over the last three weeks.
The people I’ve met.
Yes, many were familiar faces. But a lot were friendly strangers I met for the first time. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from them — about their diverse cultures, their expertise in all aspects of life, and how they’re going about achieving their goals and aspirations.
Throughout the trip, I’ve spoken frequently about the value of emotional intelligence. How we connect with people “in their space,” so to speak. It’s what experts say distinguishes great leaders from good ones. Researchers have boiled emotional intelligence down to five key components, one of which is empathy.
Empathetic people are skilled at attracting and retaining talent, they have an ability to develop others, and they possess a sensitivity to cross-cultural differences.
Doesn’t that sound like the kind of person you’d like to be? It’s the kind of person I strive to be.
If you read my blog post from earlier this month, I spoke about kindness and how we each should try to be a little kinder to one another in 2020. Well, as I’ve traveled all over the world and experienced all sorts of cultures, I’m impressed by the people I’ve met — in terms of kindness and empathy.
It’s the people we meet each day that could have a major effect on our lives (and us on theirs). It’s the emotional intelligence we demonstrate in these everyday interactions that will have a lasting impact.
Here are a few more pictures from my recent travels. Thank you all for making me feel so welcome wherever I go.
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