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A Relationship Story: I See You

When recently watching the documentary about Mr. Rogers (Won’t You Be My Neighbor), it was clearly obvious that every kid loved him and believed him, but he was not quite so universally embraced by the non-kids amongst us – it was like “he can’t really be that genuine and caring, can he?”

The movie reminded me of an experience ten years ago when a close friend, who had met me a couple of years before, recalled his impression of me when we first met – he said “I wasn’t sure if I believed you were for real.” Many who know me well are aware that I usually approach relationships in a rather personal way and tend to default to language around serving others and other “squishy” things (ok, I admit it). Of course, this is far from the way I express myself all the time (many a fault here), but this friend’s initial reluctance to believe me stayed with me over the years – it made me realize that I can’t always assume that I am “believed” – oh well…

Another friend – Susan Inouye – a truly inspiring coach and guide for others, recently shared with me information about her new book and also shared a radio interview she had recently done to help to spread the word. One of her key messages is around a concept she calls Sawubona Leadership – Sawubona is a Zulu greeting that means “I See You” – meaning “seeing another’s whole self, not just what we expect them to be, but to ‘see’ beyond the physical being into the heart of who they truly are.”

I can’t help but think we would all like to have others see us for what we really are – to practice Sawubona. I’m going to remember to always try and view others in this manner – I hope you will join in as well, and maybe, together, we can make our world a little better (there I go again!)

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.

If you would like to read previous Relationship Stories, please visit: Jeff Black Blog

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