Choosing kindness will make you a better leader.
Spoiler alert … this post is about how acts of kindness and being kind can strengthen yourself as a leader. Common-sense topic, right?
Kindness. It’s such a simple word and it’s used by so many. “Be kind.” “Teach your kids to be kind.” “Speak kindly to others.” We live in a world where the idea of kindness is broadcast to the masses and taught just about everywhere. Yet, the actual act of kindness and the doing of the things sometimes gets lost in translation in the hustle and bustle of our lives.
What does it mean to choose to be kind? What can you do to implement kindness into your business and into your everyday life?
Acts of Kindness in Your Business
You don’t need to be the CEO of a company to incorporate kindness. Give yourself permission to be kind in the workplace or in your business!
- Ask questions and give space for response. Listen to another person for 10 minutes. Just listen. Often, we listen to react and not actually to hear what the other person is saying. But if you listen, you will help someone else feel heard—and you might be surprised by what you hear.
- Be transparent. If you are open and honest with others, then they are much more likely to be open and honest in return or come to you if there’s an issue so you can address it early. Transparency is a tool that can help deepen the interactions you have with others.
- Appreciate the people around you. Better still, tell your people why you think they’re amazing! Just like you might share constructive criticism, it’s important to share constructive praise, too!
Acts of Kindness Every Day
We can all make the day better for ourselves and for someone else. Look for ways to help those around you as much as you can. Pick one of the ideas from the list below, or come up with your own!
- Take stock of the people in your life. New babies? Teenagers? Sick parents? Family health issues? Friend with a stressful job? Pick up the phone and reach out. Ask them how life is going. Offer to run to the grocery store or pick up kids from school. Even a “How are you really doing?” can make a huge difference in someone’s day.
- Hold the elevator for someone. Maybe even get crazy and say “Hi” and smile at them when they get on.
- Let someone into your lane in traffic (even if you think they might not deserve it!).
- Spread compliments. Spend 15 seconds looking for something you appreciate about the person in front of you and say it right there, to their face. You’ll make their day, maybe even their week.
- Write a positive review online. If you liked something you bought or a website you visited … tell someone! The negative reviews online tend to get the most publicity, but why not share the love instead?!
- When you’re at a lunch, or a meeting, or a family dinner, or even with your family at home, Put. Your. Phone. Away. You’re important, and the information on your phone is also important, but so is the person you’re physically with right now. Make them feel it!
- Help someone load up groceries in their car, or help your neighbor bring in their groceries when you see them making the sprint from car to house 10 times after a Costco trip.
- Mowing your lawn? Do the neighbor’s, too!
- Pick a place, like your neighborhood, a park or a sidewalk, and pick up any trash you see and throw it away. The planet thanks you, and your neighbors probably will, too!
- Take a book you enjoyed to a friend. Wrap it up and write a note that you were thinking of them and leave it on their front porch.
- Compliment a parent on their child’s good behavior. As a parent, it’s amazing how this can make you feel. If you notice a kiddo listening, following directions, or being nice to other kids, say something! You’ll make the parents AND the kids feel good!
Every day is going to be different and you may find it hard to fit one of these in each day, but the goal is to try! The more frequently you offer these types of interactions, the easier they become part of your routine and develop as second nature.
How do you spread kindness in your day? Share in the comments below!