Kindness is an investment, and you reap what you sow. The world is filled with hate, problems, trauma, and gossip, which can make it difficult to remain kind. But, you will never regret being kind, and there are a whole number of reasons to choose kindness.
No one likes to be wrong. In fact, I see people all the time needing to squeeze in the last word of a conversation or try to convince everyone that their opinion is the right one. Of course, we all want to be right, but not when it’s at the cost of being kind. To convince everyone that you’re right is to put yourself above others, which inherently isn’t very kind.
But in business and in life, you will gain a lot more if you are kind. Even during your most stressful times, figure out how your actions can reflect kindness rather than meanness. Don’t only be nice when it will benefit you; display generosity even when you know you won’t get anything in return.
In the business world, for some reason toughness, aggressiveness, and fierceness have been highly prized characteristics that have been touted as the qualities of a successful business person. Sure, being tough and able to withstand failures and problems is a good thing, but you can be a leader in your business without having to put others down. The most successful and long-standing businesses are the ones that truly value their employees and build them up through kindness.
When you cultivate a business environment around a culture of kindness, you are creating a space for people to feel safe, uplifted, and supported. This is kindness that is established in the form of trust, and there is no more valuable asset to you in your business than people trusting and supporting you. Why? Because trust breeds loyalty, and people will be committed to helping you when they feel valued and trusted.
Whether you’re a manager, owner, or employee, here are 5 ways you can cultivate kindness in the workplace:
1. Seek connection. Inquire about the lives of the people around you, and ask team members about their families or hobbies to really identify with them and seek a deeper connection.
2. Offer to help. The best kindness leaders are those who know that no task is too small for them. There is a lot to be gained by rolling up your sleeves and pitching in when someone needs it, even if you don’t want to.
3. Encourage others. Now who doesn’t love a bit of encouragement? You can make a world of difference by giving a colleague a compliment. It helps to build trust and loyalty, and people love to know that their work isn’t going unnoticed.
4. Treat everyone the same. No matter whether they’re an assistant or CEO, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated yourself.
5. Don’t gossip. This can be hard, especially because people often like to connect with one another by gossiping about someone else. Resist this temptation, and remember that the people who are gossiping to you aren’t the kind of people you want to keep in your close circle.
While these tips work in business, they also work in life. You will increase your own happiness if you learn to seek connection, help and encourage others, treat everyone as equals, and eliminate gossip. But kindness is a choice, and you can choose to be resentful, angry, and bitter, or you can choose to emulate the qualities listed above.
No one is perfect, and in reality, we all struggle with these choices. But if you want to be a positive person and if you want people to look to you as someone they want to model their own selves after, choose to be kind. In your own life, it doesn’t take much. Open a door for someone, smile at a stranger, or commit a small act of generosity. In the age of social media and digital everything, people are increasingly feeling isolated and alone. There is more pressure than ever to be “happy”, yet studies show that more and more people are feeling the exact opposite. We compare ourselves to the “perfect” people on Instagram and feel like we need to be the same way.
So, be kind. Even when you don’t feel like it. Practice makes perfect, but you will enhance your life and the lives around you if you seek to practice kindness in everything that you do.