What is the Fragrance you Leave Behind?

There are various people who come into your life. Most will leave a memory, and for some, it will be a lasting memory - good or bad.

Photo by Cristian Newsman - Unsplash

"Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you"

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Fragrance or smells are there to help us. They can quickly warn us "off" something or someone, they also attract us to lean in towards something or someone. For example, when your favourite dish is put in front of you, or the perfume that reminds you of that special person in your life.

For me, it is the cologne that my best friend's mum always wore. The smell triggers a sense of 'being loved and accepted' for who I was, no matter what mischief my friend and I would get up to!

Allow me to use the analogy of smells to describe the various ways people can influence the environments we participate in. Do you recognise any of these?

Let’s start with STINKY people.

You smell them coming, and when you are with them, they spread their “excrement” everywhere. They can literally give you the xxts! The smell or the memory of the smell often lingers long after they have gone. You will do whatever it takes to move them out, or yourself, as quickly as you can.

However, there is a positive spin. Because real stink is hard to mask, it acts as an early warning system. You quickly know “something is up”, especially when you observe the reactions of other people (often with looks of worry on their faces). This allows you to take actions to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

I was conducting a brand review on a client who was well known to be difficult because of her accusing style of communicating. The majority of the respondents gave the usual negative feedback about this one behavioural trait, however one person surprised me when answering the following question:

When you hear her coming down the hall to your meeting, what thoughts go through your head – the immediate response was, “we all look at each other and say oh-no what haven’t we done that we promised!”.

The outcome of the review was, yes, this woman needed to round out her communicating style. However, it was clear that she held strong to the value of ‘doing what you said you were going to do’, especially when others were counting on you.

When it starts ok, but soon sours.