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Touchy, Feely...I think so!

Upon meeting me, I think it is generally quite evident that I care about the people around me. I am always conscious of how people feel. I work hard to make others feel included and as if their views matter. I try to be polite and acknowledge those around me (even if they are not favorite person). This all stems from my view that we are all human. That in itself requires us to treat everyone with respect and dignity. That is not to say that we must like every person we encounter or that we need to agree with everyone's position on volatile issues. We do, however, need to recognize our joint humanity and respect that.

This is something that has been on my mind since sometime around August, when my co-workers and I took a personal leadership assessment. It was at this point that I was designated as the "touchy, feely" one in the office. I didn't see anything wrong with this. So I care about those around me in addition to doing a good job. What is the problem with that? In my mind, there is nothing wrong with that. However, since then I have begun to notice that any time someone referenced me as the "touchy feely" one, it comes out as a derogatory term. They make it sound as if it is a weakness to be concerned more about people than being so fixated on goals and outcomes. I really hate that. There is nothing wrong with focusing on people. It is merely a difference of personality traits.

In the future, if you an encounter an individual who could be described as "touchy, feely," think twice before insinuating that there is something wrong with this. It just means that they care for someone other than themselves. You might give it a try. At the very least, recognize that there is more than one way to go through life.

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