I like to write about kindness because we all need a reminder every once in a while. For better or worse, many companies have managers, supervisors and team leaders with little people skills. They bully, belittle and criticize, and many fall into the false belief that people "work better under pressure". This is a self-limiting belief that will undoubtedly hold them back in this day and age
Especially when we disagree with people -- be it colleagues, supervisors, family or friends -- it can be very difficult to remain kind and respectful through the strife. At least personally, I have often found it challenging to stay kind when I am stressed or impatient.
If you find it difficult at times to stay kind at work, following are a few simple tips on how you can easily practice kindness on a daily basis.
- Be kind to yourself: What story do you tell yourself about yourself? You cannot be kind to others if you're not kind to yourself.
- Make it your intention to be kind every day.
- Look for proof that kindness matters.
- Communication basics: Always say hello, please and thank you when appropriate.
- Pause and think before you speak: Is what you would like to communicate kind? Is the communication necessary?
- Surprise someone with an unexpected action: Buy a coffee for someone or offer your help on a project.
- Hold the door open for someone else: This means being mindful and present instead of being lost in thought.
- Be personable: Address a person with his or her first name, whether in-person or through email.
- Thank someone with a handwritten note.
- Express your appreciation to a minimum of three people each day.
- Respect others opinions, even those that differ from your own.
- Listen to someone by giving that person your undivided attention.
- Be kind to unkind people.
- If someone is kind to you, make it a point to pay it forward.
I want to see more people who have the courage to swim against the tide when it comes to being kind. There are so many benefits to more kindness within the workplace, but the most important ones are probably the mental and emotional well-being for those who commit to spreading and receiving kindness. Other benefits include increased self-worth, improved self-confidence and a more positive outlook on other people and challenging situations.
Does it sound like a good idea to make kindness an important part of your success? If so, you can start today by implementing the above-stated practices.
Karin Lindner is a human performance specialist, founder and owner of Karico International Inc., a business management consultant based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. She is also an author, speaker, mental strength trainer, leadership and executive coach, and vice president of public relations at Toastmasters International, a nonprofit aimed at improving clients' communication and building leadership skills.