“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama
Can you remember the last time an individual went out of their way to make your day better? Even if it wasn’t recent, the act of kindness itself is most likely a vivid memory. Kindness is not only a soft skill that leaves a lasting impression, it’s also an important leadership quality that’s often overlooked.
Studies show that leaders who project warmth are more effective than leaders that lead with toughness. When we practice intentional kindness, employees are more satisfied, trust us more, and have a greater potential to achieve sustainable results.
What does it mean to be kind?
Kind people are friendly, generous, considerate, warm and concerned. Being kind can take practice. You might need to begin by shifting your perspective and purposefully looking for the positive.
Practice kindness one small step at a time. The ripple from one act can spread from person to person to person. With practice, this soft skill can blossom into an influential leadership quality. Kindness is more powerful when it is intentional rather than random.
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
What can you do to care for others? How can you make someone’s day better?
10 Actions to Practice Kindness
- Greet people –smile and offer a warm greeting
- Say “please” and “thank you”
- Be helpful to others
- Offer a positive outlook to get things accomplished
- See a situation from another’s point of view
- When you say you will do something do it on time and with thoughtfulness
- Recognize others for a job well done
- Make a deposit to an individual’s emotional bank account.
- Just listen – give someone your time and undivided attention
- Celebrate someone else’s success
Kindness Builds Trust Faster
When you are kind, people feel like you care about them. Employees who feel cared about at work feel listened to as valued members of a team. Kindness in the workplace encourages openness and cooperation. It also creates and environment where people are comfortable sharing information. Without a kind and trusting workplaces, it’s not likely that our teams will be motivated or willing to model positive behavior.
Listen to more examples and stories of kindness in the workplace on the podcast episode Small Things, Big Difference.
What will you do to intentionally practice kindness this week? What are some ways that you already demonstrate kindness? Leave a comment to share your insight.