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The Ripple Effect - Encouraging Emotional Literacy

Updated: Sep 29, 2021




How often do you hear yourself or others saying, “Oh, it’s just what I do”, brushing things off as if there is nothing to notice?


I often hear parents when complemented on bringing up children; feeding, clothing, nurturing and in essence keeping another human being alive but they brush it off, “oh, it’s just what we do, it’s expected”.


A key worker when someone notices them and takes the time to comment on their actions; how they actively listening to someone, smiling and taking an interest and really hearing the impact that life is having on that person, “it’s just what we do, it’s my job”.


Or the practitioner when thanked for their intervention, maybe giving expert attention to the care and wellbeing of another, “well I do it every day, it’s just what I’m trained to do”.


It may all sound like stuff you “just do” but those small acts of kindness or compassion are having an impact, creating a ripple effect and I would encourage you to take a moment to be proud and encourage others to reflect too, because those things that you do – they are amazing.


Now, some people are really up for this and see it as an opportunity to reflect, learn and explore their contribution, identifying it as another way to adapt and learn, enjoying their emotional literacy.


However, my experience is that many people find it tricky. I live in Scotland and as a nation I sometimes hear we are not very good at blowing our own trumpet? Some people find it strange and uncomfortable to talk or explore their emotions and feelings, particularly if it is a behaviour they have learnt. “I was always told as a child, it’s not nice to brag”, and “it’s not polite to talk about your achievements”?


I am reminded of Ian McDermott (founder of ITS) when he talks of the importance of “how the best feedback feeds forward”. I love this and like to consider that by taking a moment to reflect with people, exploring how their actions impact those around them, how this becomes food for thought and food for growth, truly feeding forward.


Maybe the next time you hear this statement “it’s just what I do”, from yourself or another you might just take a moment to reflect on what it is that you “just do” and really consider the impact on others.

When someone smiles at you when you are having a bad day, how good does that feel?


When someone really listens and hears how and who you are, how nice does that feel?


It may all sound like stuff you “just do” but those small acts of kindness or compassion are having an impact, creating that ripple effect and I would encourage you to take a moment to be proud and encourage others to reflect too, because those things that you do – they are amazing.


If you are interested in hearing more about emotional literacy and how coaching can support you create the life you want, I’d love to hear from you so please connect here or visit https://lnkd.in/eCY2dEpv


Thank you to Victoria Vandersteen for giving me the courage and support to write this article. I appreciate you.





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