Did you know Kindness and Leadership can be taught? When we partner and work with Executive, Middle Managers and Emerging Leaders – we love teaching the power of kindness in leadership and how to do it remotely too. We live in an ever changing world which challenges our foundations, beliefs and actions, however there are certain things we should always practice and one of those is kindness. Businesses change, people are impacted, however there are opportunities to create a better workplace with kindness being integral to this. There are many opportunities to show kindness as a leader and by doing this, you build trust in others and create a kindness culture. So, take time out to make a call to a struggling co-worker working at home, thank someone for their great work and extend kindness outside work to the broader community. Remember also to show kindness to yourself through your own self-care! Moments of kindness bring back our humanity and keep our spirits up. Over time this creates a ripple effect and aggregates to makes a huge difference.
“BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE” Dalai Lama
Kindness is Contagious
Jen Fisher at Deloittes shows “Why Kindness in the Workplace Is Essential.” Kindness, in my opinion, has become a lost art. It costs nothing and benefits everyone, yet we are all so busy that we forget how a simple, genuine smile or a hello can change the course of someone’s entire day. Kindness is also contagious—and while it should be spread across all facets of life, I’m an advocate for sharing kindness at work just as much as in our personal lives. When kindness is shared in the workplace, it has incredible benefits. One study, published last year, found that employees who received kindness not only paid it forward, but were 278 percent more generous than their control group counterparts. That same study found that employees who received kindness were happier after two months; and those who gave out kindness became less depressed and more satisfied with their jobs, and their lives overall.
Making Kindness “A Priority”
Kindness is not always seen as a priority in the workplace, as outlined in a Forbes article especially as it can contrast with the traditional image of a successful entrepreneur. Haven’t we been told that “nice people finish last?” Office culture can be cut-throat and competitive, leading to hurtful criticism, lack of collaboration and miscommunication. However, now we are increasingly talking about wellbeing in the workplace and bringing an authentic quality to our work, being gentle with ourselves and with others around us. A new study in the journal Emotion looks at acts of kindness within a real-life working environment and shows how kindness really does create a positive ripple that affects the whole workplace culture. This study has shown that generosity and kindness propagates and spreads. The researchers from the University of California studied workers from Coca Cola’s Madrid headquarters. The study group consisted of mostly female employees from a range of departments. Participants were told they were part of a happiness study, and once a week for four weeks, they checked in to report how they were feeling, in terms of mood and life satisfaction, and their experience of positive and negative behaviours. This included how many they had carried out towards others and how many others had made towards them. Four weeks later, the participants completed further measures, such as happiness and job satisfaction. There was a catch—19 of the participants were instructed by researchers to be the “givers,” where each week they performed some act of kindness towards some of their co-workers, who were not part of this control group. It was up to the altruistic group as to what generous acts they performed, and these included relatively simple things that we can often take for granted, such as bringing someone a drink and emailing a thank-you note. Overall this study, showed that small acts of kindness not only benefit the receiver, but also the giver and the whole organisation, thereby creating a positive workplace culture.
You can show Kindness Anywhere, Anytime!
You can “Literally show Kindness at work or anywhere” as outlined in my blog. Why do we find kindness so challenging when it is so easy. Are we so wrapped up in our own bubble or world that we forget that we are all connected and leadership is about others? It takes courage to be kind and kindness is not a weakness; it is a super power. It’s a super power in business, teams, children, life, leadership and so forth – especially for yourself. I want you to try at least one of the below act of kindness each and every day and see the difference it makes at work (and anywhere and everywhere for the matter). In turn, I know you will see a difference in trust, engagement, motivation, connection and performance too – which I know is important in business and life:
The Level of Our Success Is Limited Only By Our Imagination and No Act of Kindness, However Small, Is Ever Wasted” Aesop
Leadership isn’t easy and sometimes we need help. I am always here.
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Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.