We all recognize when we’re treated with kindness, especially when we deserve a far different response. In business, many dwell in a tit-for-tat world, where it takes courage to reach out in compassion rather than retaliation.
What does kindness look like in action?
- It’s caring for others as well as yourself.
- It’s living a life where everyone is of equal worth.
- It’s valuing that giving is as important as getting.
The bottom line is it’s responding with empathy and respect—no matter what!
And yes, all of us know what kindness feels like when we experience it. And yet, when people define it in business—at least in their heart of hearts—there’s a little part of them that considers it easy, perhaps even a weak response.
But it isn’t. It has power behind every action because it’s a choice to always lead with consideration—not to get caught up in the circumstances. Kindness costs you nothing, and yet offers a meaningful ROI to every relationship. It’s a bold gesture—one that produces positive results. And research confirms:
- In a Zenger Folkman study of 51,836 leaders, they found just 27 executives who were rated at the bottom quartile in terms of likability, but in the top quartile in terms of overall leadership effectiveness—that’s approximately one out of 2,000. The statistics confirm that kindness is a foundational characteristic of successful leaders.
- A culture of positivity emerges as a workforce chooses to be kind to one another.
- Kindness also breeds a work environment that regularly engenders innovative services and products from all levels of the organization.
Not only does kindness benefit the company and employees, but as you exhibit it, your wellbeing is enhanced as well:
- In a survey conducted by Random Acts of Kindness, half of the participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth.
- Kindness reduces anxiety, whether from mild nervousness or severe stress. The upshot is constructive outcomes such as improved wellbeing, bringing about a healthier, happier, and more satisfying life.
When you breed kindness, it opens the doors for connectivity of all kinds to turn up—and in today’s diverse marketplace that is essential for success. So, start taking action:
- Smile: This act is simple and yet smiles that emanate from your core, change everything, and everyone in your vicinity. It just takes a moment to center your mind on the present, look the person in the eyes, smile and then, watch the transformational magic as it occurs.
One wonders why we don’t use our smile power more frequently. Especially with studies showing, as one takes note of another person’s smile, it activates the muscles on the receiver’s face too.
So, they end up walking away, replicating your original beam, but now with a burst of sunlight in their heart. And when we’re generating the smile, our day becomes a little brighter. Amazing, right? It’s an act of kindness to all, including ourselves.
- High-Performance Environment: Because kindness is contagious, the very act creates a domino effect in the organization leading to improved production, higher levels of creativity, increased employee engagement, and stronger relationships.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Self-kindness aids in elevated levels of achievement vital in today’s marketplace as no plan, or change or project comes with a guarantee of straight-line success. Kindness to yourself offers you a guilt-free “reset button.” You see, the quicker you “reset,” the faster you move into initiating new, better, and more outstanding outcomes. “Resetting” is tough to do, if not impossible, when you are kicking yourself with regrets and filling your head with critical self-talk that limits the possibility of your future.
The novelist Henry James has it right when he said, Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind. Are you going to get onboard to the kindness movement for the greater good of your career and everyone around you?