Recognizing All Parts Played

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Now more than ever, we are part of an increasingly larger network of people, which beckons for crystal clarity on the roles we play.

Who is the star of the show at work or in life, the person taking on a heroic role? You may know someone playing this role, or maybe it is you. This person feels the world is their oyster. Being a hero can feel glorious at times and, at other times, it can feel lonely. Shining stars might not even notice the glare placed on their audience. They may see only the reflection of their own image and be fooled into perceiving they are all that exists or matters.

And then, there is everyone else: the star’s audience, the rest of the people…because there is usually only one star outshining the others. Who are these supporting cast members? Maybe this is the role you play? Do they feel invisible, forgotten, even ignored? Or perhaps they enjoy the shadows, a place to be left alone in serenity where the blaring light of the star is not directing its scorching effect.

I enjoy writing in metaphor, not to avoid addressing tough subjects but rather to create an image that expands perspective. Hopefully, this one casts a wider view on life as we know it today. At work or in the thick of living, it’s easy to miss noticing how others feel…others who are not like us.

Another metaphor: music. There is melody, often regarded as the ‘star’ of a composition. However, there is SO much more (harmony, structure, maybe lyrics, and so on). Think about rhythm: like a supporting cast member, it is an indispensable element of music. Rhythm can exist without melody, but melody cannot exist without rhythm. All these elements combine to make this exquisite thing we call music.

The lessons learned through music, the value to the whole of all the parts played, translates to every aspect of work and life. Regardless of your role, you aren’t in it alone. Everyone matters. Remember to acknowledge the value of all people, at work and in life.

This Week’s Challenge: Think about roles you play at work and/or in life. Pick one: This might be a visible role (e.g., “Manager” or “Mom”) or perhaps a less visible role (e.g., “Advocate” or a “Challenger”). Now think of people who you interact with when playing this role. Consider: What is the value they bring? What can you acknowledge about them that leaves them feeling as—if not more—confident than before your interaction? Choose one of those people and tell them how you value them.

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