World Kindness Day

Saturday 13th November

 


When we begin talking about kindness in a professional setting, I can hear toes curling near and far. It can be, well, just a tiny bit cringy. Talking about kindness, thoughtfulness, humanity may seem too fluffy for many; but kindness at work has unfounded benefits.

We aren’t talking about grand gestures… kindness doesn’t have to be a drain on resources or time. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, some kind words or making your colleague a well needed brew… if it’s Yorkshire tea in that cup… well that’ll more than do. Even the smallest of gestures can have a huge impact on someone’s day. Kindness at work is proven to have scientific benefits for both the giver and the receiver. Being kind and showing compassion:

 Increases Endorphins - say bye to stress and pain…

 Releases Serotonin - that well-known feel-good hormone

 Reduces that evil little stress hormone - Cortisol.

 

 

So, why are we so uncomfortable with just being kind?

The world has shifted since Covid arrived. We faced times in isolation where we didn’t see another human being during the working day. We hunkered down and got comfortable in the sanctuary of the home office. It was cosy, and we liked it. Fast forward 12 months and we’ve all been thrown back together for face-to-face collaboration… and some of us might be taking a little while to adjust to the office environment once more. It’s exciting being with people… but it’s even more exciting talking about people. Being kind in the workplace often goes “against the grain”. Human nature leans us towards poking our nose in where it isn’t necessarily wanted, and festers in gossip and often malice behind peoples backs. Load this on top of overstretched and overwhelmed employees and the enemy of kindness wreaks havoc through the workplace. The rumour mill is seeing some additional fuel and it’s loving it!

 

 

So, what can we do about it? How can we create a culture of kindness?

 Receive it!

Accept kindness wherever it’s shown to you. Be open to it! Say thanks when someone pays you a compliment, share a smile in return. Let’s remove the uneasiness of kindness at work.

 Model it!

Be kind. Be kind wherever possible. And enlist your colleagues to do the same. Spread kindness and it will become infectious. Show people how to be kind. Praise good work: celebrate a success even when it isn’t your own..

 Focus on it!

Talk about kindness and make it the explicit focus. Make it your culture to be kind to people; to everyone. You could run a kindness workshop, share posters, create a peer-to-peer recognition scheme, anything to get people thinking about and talking about being kind.

 Step away!

When you can’t muster being outwardly kind, don’t be mean. Just don’t do it! Stop tolerating it from other people. Hear someone gossiping about a colleague? Don’t engage, and better still challenge it. We all get frustrated with people both inside and outside of the workplace. That’s OK. But be constructive; deal with challenges and find a way to move forward positively.

 

Let’s create kind workplaces. Let’s employ happy, positive, and relaxed people. Let’s grow together!

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