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Passive Influence

I study karate on a regular basis, and over the years I've practiced a number of different martial arts, most of them in fairly strict in the traditions and routines of student behavior. When I started this new school with me son, it was a lot less strict. That was OK with me, I'm older, and it was a new business with a fellow IT worker leaving his job to pursue his dream of a martial arts school.

Old habits die hard, and I was used to bowing before I moved, before/after kata, and at other times, without exception. Most people in the school only bowed when asked (begining or the end of class, when the teacher mentioned it at the start of kata, before partner drills, etc.) However I bowed every time before I moved to change position, line up, keeping with the routine that had been drilled into me at many places.

After about a year, most people were doing the same thing. Our teacher had noticed, and actually called it out one day. I hadn’t really noticed the others since it wasn't something I cared about. I study for myself, and I've tried to pass that belief on to my son. Our instructor did say that I set an example, and he appreciated that.

By living the way I thought was proper, I’d influenced people. I'm not sure what I take from that, but it did make me realize that our actions change change lives, even passively.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Lynn Pettis on 13 June 2009

Steve, It is really simple, you led by example.  I wish more people paid more attention to their actions rather than just their words.

You saw a small demonstration at your school.  Action can, and do, speak louder than words.

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 June 2009

I think that's true, but it was one of the few times that it was obvious to me what influence I'd have from actions. And that other people picked up on it. I haven't paid attention at work before, but I wonder how much this affects others in the office.

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