Personal journies are unique and special to the person that is on them. There may be those that join the journey, but it remains unique to the person that is on it. I have found great wisdom and lessons from that that have shared their personal journies with me. They are probably some of life’s greatest lessons.
Unfortunately, we don’t do enough sharing of the journey. Instead, we tend to share the end results of a long journey. Social media has encouraged this behavior through short posts and pictures of moments in time. Those that do share their journey, do so through the lens of reflection and foresight. That usually removes much of the struggle as we tend to block those from memory as a protective technique. This all has the sum result of obscuring the joys of a long hard journey. We want to get right to the winning part without the sacrifice and effort to get there. This is impacting the new generations more than any previous generation in time. Again, social media is a large part of the problem, but not the only.
We need to be better about sharing the journey in the moment. Being open and honest to those that you feel safe to do so can be a support structure for you and remind them we are all on a personal journey. This is especially true for the younger generations, they can benefit tremendously from this type of engagement. Filter the content so it is appropriate for the age and relationship. Having that level of openness, in the moments, can turn the negative impact of social media into a very positive impact.
This isn’t just about posts on specific social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. It is about sharing the journey to create strong bonds, cultures, and journeys. Here are some examples:
- Personal:Sharing your journey with friends and family, even inviting them to be part of it, can create strong bonds. Those bonds will help to empower your journey and get you through rough times. Sharing your journey with a partner can create a very strong healthy relationship. It makes both of you feel needed and contributing to each other. Sharing your journey, filtered, with your child(s) can help teach them life lessons and understand the hard work that is required for any journey.
- Work: Sharing your journey and asking for help is one of the best ways to build partnerships with coworkers. Everyone is on a personal growth journey and everyone has fears and anxieties about it. Doubt and fear is common and healthy and when we share with others our doubt and fear we build connections. Find appropriate times to share parts of your journey with others. Be authentic and you will be amazed how many walls come down and people open up.
- Career: Sharing your journey on a resume or in an interview is a great way to build a personal connection with the hiring manager. That is exactly what good hiring managers and recruiters are looking for, what does your story tell them. A resume or a personal brand website is a great way to communicate the journey you have taken and where you want to go. In an interview make sure you are communicating that same story and personalize it to the hiring manager. Remember, they are on their own personal journey and are thinking about bringing you on as part of it. Tie your journey into their’s and you are hired.
- Leaders: You have a challenge and a fantastic opportunity. You are on your own journey, a journey with coworkers and you get to be a huge part of your employee’s journey. That is a great opportunity and a great burden at the same time. Sharing your journey with employees is a great way to build report with them. If done right, it absolutely will not make you appear weak, a common statement I hear. It makes you human and most importantly relatable. One of the greatest responsibilities you have is in regards to the journey of your employees. You have the power to make their journey a positive or negative direction with your actions and attitudes.
- Business Executives: All of the above applies to you and your journey. The unique element for your journey is the culture you are responsible for at your business. That culture will directly impact the journey, and health, of your employees. Creating a safe environment that encourages employees to share their journeys will help everyone build strong partnerships. That, in turn, creates a strong company with motivated employees. It is one of those secret sauce strategies that some of the best companies implement.
Building relationships is a positive social exercise that builds empathy. It can be a learning tool, bonding experience, or a powerful way to build amazing teams. Be thoughtful and authentic when sharing or listening to personal journeys.