Kindness is the Gateway to Greatness
There are people who say kindness is not critical to professional success…some even say it has no place in the dog-eat-dog business world. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Everything in my body-brain, heart, gut-tells me that mindset is wrong. After spending 20 years in the corporate world I’ve had a wide-range of experiences and I cannot think of one that couldn’t have been made better with kindness. In fact, all the best times were filled with it and the worst ones had none. A big reason I started my own business is because I want to teach people how kindness is the gateway to greatness in careers, businesses, and life!
You might be thinking “Why is kindness so important at work?”. For starters, it doesn’t create chaos or disrespect which are huge time and energy wasters. How much time have you spent trying to settle yourself down after a meeting with a big jerk? What affect did it have on your week…did you make complex plans to avoid that person? Did you waste anyone else’s time retelling your story? Bigger question-were you ever The Jerk? Think about how kindness could have changed the situation and empowered everyone to focus on the real work at hand. If you want to achieve remarkable things, then you must work toward a favorable reputation and the simple fact is that reputations are built on people and people want to be treated well. When you’re kind, you won’t waste energy worrying about being disrespectful unless you aren’t sincere. Sincerity is crucial.
Write your answers to these questions so you can refer to them again:
- Why is showing sincere kindness important to you?
- Why is sincere kindness important to your organization and clients?
- Introducing the Video! Why Kindness is Important at Work
“Bridget, I’m really very kind to everyone all the time…well most of the time…I think, right?!” I’m smiling right now because it’s human nature to think of ourselves as lovely people instead of rotten eggs. The truth is somewhere in between, and it varies moment to moment. We cannot change what we don’t recognize so my suggestion is to assume there’s always an opportunity to be more kind. Think about your last meeting with colleagues; were you kind with your responses?
- If you didn’t participate that’s not neutral because skipping the opportunity to be kind didn’t foster a positive experience. It’s not about talking a lot, it’s about the quality of what you say and how it makes people feel. Step out of your comfort zone to intentionally show kindness.
- Some of you comedians won’t like this but being sarcastic or telling jokes might be fun for you and a few others but it isn’t really kind. The truth is that you simply cannot know how each person will take your humor so keep it (because that’s a part of YOU) and make sure to show sincere kindness as well.
- Invest in others! Greet people, acknowledge hard work, offer to help, and thank the host or participants. All of these are acts of kindness that go a long way in building positive relationships and
- Don’t be jerk and when you are (because we all are at times) clean up the mess quickly-remember to have empathy and authenticity. The recipe for success is apologize, allow space for processing, then learn and let it go.
- Want to find out where you stand today? Rate your level of kindness after each meeting you have (scale of 1-5) and write it down in your notes or calendar! Do this consistently for a week or two and you’ll gain helpful insights. Be careful not to judge yourself because you can’t go back in time to change the interaction-learn and let it go.
- Check out the Video-Know Your Level of Kindness
You might be wondering “Ok I know where I stand, now what?” and that’s an awesome place to be because now you can take real action! I promise that you will gain more than you will give when you rise to this challenge for one month. Remember that being remarkable and doing amazing things isn’t possible alone so bringing kindness to others will be useful and feel great. Building relationships is a key component to long-term fulfillment and success.
- Step #1: Pick 1 (ONE…uno…not two) area of in your career or business where you want greater kindness. The more specific the better and frequency is important. Your target could be a person, a certain topic, a specific type of meeting-you decide!
- Step#2: Come up with 2-3 ways you can bring more kindness to the situation and write them down. Here are some suggestions and the sky’s the limit!
- Appreciate their time/input-verbally thank them.
- Be on time.
- Empathize with challenges.
- Repeat another’s point and ask, “Do I have the correct understanding about what you shared?”.
- Remember that sincerity is a must! Otherwise, you’ll come across like a turkey or worse.
- Each week, write down all the changes you’ve experienced since introducing more kindness into your workday. Think about all the changes within yourself and your colleagues! CELEBRATE & SPREAD THE WORD!
- Here’s a helpful Video-Bring More Kindness into Your Workday
Still need motivation to take on the one-month challenge? Check out this last video and always remember: you reap what you sow. It makes sense then, that when you bring more kindness into the world many wonderful things will come your way. The most important benefit of being more kind is a better attitude. It can be awkward but then it gets easier to see that we have the power to change our situation and outlook simply by choosing kindness. A close second benefit is that your relationships will get stronger and be of higher quality. Other people show more goodwill in response to kindness and anytime work can be made easier by goodwill, cooperation, and patience it’s a win-win. Consistency is critical. When you show kindness on a regular basis you will truly walk through the gateway to greatness!
If you get stuck on the one-month challenge, sometimes a little help is the answer. I offer VIP intensive sessions where we come up with a plan, explore obstacles, create strategies for handling challenges and more in 2.5 or 4 hours (you pick)! Interested? Contact me!