written my good friend by Kimberly M. Wiefling, M.S. of Scrappy Women
The “Talk of Kindness at Work” Used to Make Me Wretch, Okay, okay, I’ll admit that I’m not the nicest person on Planet Earth. Kindness – An Essential Skill.
According to the quiz based on Dr. Bob Sutton’s “The No Asshole Rule”, courageously hosted by Guy Kawawsaki, I’m 12.5% nasty – and that’s on a good day, when not jet-lagged. Kindness? I used to practically wretch when I heard the song “Hands”, in particular the part where the singer croons “In the end, only kindness matters”. I’d laugh sardonically as I tried to imagine how kindness could possibly matter more than reaching this month’s manufacturing shipping target or hitting the next project milestone. But over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the power in the business world of being kind as well as scrappy.
Maybe my change of heart is due to the many incredible acts of kindness that I have experienced at the hands of workshop attendees from over 20 different countries. First, there’s the frequent practice of gift giving. In Asia, I’ve frequently received presents when I reconnect with people I’ve worked with in the past. Gift-giving can be done out of a sense of obligation, but the ones I’ve received are usually incredibly thoughtful.
One leadership program graduate from Singapore presented me with a colorful makeup purse, saying “I chose this exciting color to match your personality!” Another brought me some pepper. It was “just pepper,” I know, but she described in detail how she remembered that I loved the taste of this particular pepper when I last visited Osaka. During my first trip to Thailand, an admiring former workshop participant who was too busy to meet me in person dropped off a beautifully wrapped gift at my hotel to welcome me to her home country.
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder’.
– Aldous Huxley, Author of “Brave New World”
It may be embarrassing to admit that we all aren’t as kind as we like to be, it’s the act of kindness that will change your mind, just like Kimberly has. One hears stories of paying for the next persons toll, or coffee in a drive thru..these are simple acts of kindness.
When it comes to the workplace will kindness make a difference? You bet, it also needs to take if further up the chain of command. The leaders need to lead by example and if you are leading in a negative way, guess what? Your employees will follow suit. There are solutions, ideas that are available to everyone to change to become kinder, compassionate, express more empathy when situations arise that need you to be. Rid of the toxic workplace..kindness can truly help you do this. Check out the Kindness@Work Conference January 26-28t, 2021
Life is meant to be happy, smooth sailing, blissful. If it isn’t for you maybe its time for you to check-in with yourself to see what’s missing. I learned this lesson when everything was crashing around me.. I didn’t know what to do or how to stop it from happening over and over again. I got a rude awakening from my situation. It was because I wasn’t being kind to myself. Learning to set boundaries, saying NO, more often. Resting, letting go, surrendering…
Everyone is going to learn it, and embrace it at a different time in their life, mostly when there is a crises happening. During this pandemic of COVID, I am sure that you have found yourself either helping more people or you have experienced more kindness from others, when you’ve least expected it. Learn to do the Talk of Kindness at Work.
I encourage you to join us at the Kindness@Work Conference coming up in a couple of weeks.. do a day at a time or for all 3 days.. easy to listen to and engage in conversations with the speakers..
Until next time, be kind to yourself!