We hear a lot in the news and on shared posts on social media about acts of kindness and its impact on how people feel (usually pretty good!). Much of today’s news is focused on the negative, so these ‘kindness’ stories often pop out to us and can have a lasting effect in our minds. Maybe we replicate the story by buying someone’s coffee in the drive through or perhaps we are inspired to write a thank you note that may be long overdue?
Kindness in the Workplace
Have you thought about what this movement would look like in your workplace? Often, as a working professional, the perceptions of demonstrating kindness in the workplace can be often mistaken as making you appear weak or maybe giving other permission to take advantage of you, however quite the opposite will happen. Proven research suggests that kindness can positively transform the workplace and give you a competitive edge.
Truly authentic acts of kindness in the workplace can lead to deeper relationships, increased work satisfaction and more efficiency…lead from a place of love.
FREE 5 Day Kindness Challenge Today!
A Kindness Study
The Zenger Folkman study tracked over 50,000 leaders and noted that the most likable leaders who expressed warmth were also the most effective. Many people assume that it’s possible for a person to be an effective leader without being likable. Out of 51,836 leaders, they found just 27 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. Likeability is not just an immutable trait–something that people either have or don’t, research suggests otherwise. The study recommended a number of steps that leaders can have to substantially increase their likeability. Some include:
- Deepening positive emotional connections with others
- Displaying integrity consistently
- Acting as a coach, mentor and teacher
- Being less competitive with others and more cooperative
- Inspiring those around you
- Making an effort to change when asking for feedback
What does kindness mean to you?
Scientific studies have shown that acts of kindness increase the production of serotonin in the brain as well as boost the immune system. Serotonin is the naturally-occurring neurochemical that has a calming anti-anxiety effect. People who OBSERVE an act of kindness experience the same increase of serotonin and boost in their immune system. The RECEIVER of the act of kindness also experiences these benefits. Do something everyday that spreads some kindness. A recent Harvard study showed that as human beings, we copy the behavior of those around us, whether positive or negative. If more and more people began to behave in a kind, compassionate way towards their co-workers, the group will start to copy that behavior.
Big or small acts of kindness, it doesn’t matter, but it does need to consistently practiced in a purposeful way. No matter what role you have a work, remember that authentic kindness transforms so many things. Here are FIVE acts of kindness to get you started that can be easily incorporated into your workday and workplace and might just inspire others to join in on this positive movement.
5 Simple Acts of Kindness for the Workplace
Kind Act 1: Leave a note on someone’s desk about how awesome they are.
This isn’t rocket science, but it is very simple and very effective. Be specific about what they did that was worth praising. Rewarded behavior gets repeated…so reward specific behaviors that you want repeated…like perhaps…a positive attitude!
Kind Act 2: Recognize Birthdays!
Birthdays are personal and people feel good about their birthday, whether they admit it or not. Recognize their birthday in some way…it is the only day that is all about them. It’s their own private holiday. Recognize them in some way, little or grand, but help them understand that you realize it is their special day.
Kind Act 3: Say “Good Morning” and smile at EVERYONE
Sounds simple, but is so often missed. Be sincere and make a point to make the rounds and say “hello, good morning” and use their name.
Kind Act 4: Listen more than you talk.
“There is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth” How often do we start formulating our response to someone before they are even halfway through their comment? We are so anxious to give answers, share our brilliance or steal thunder that we don’t even really hear what they are trying to say. Listen with your eyes and react to their emotions…without formulating a response, placing a judgement or sharing your biography.
Kind Act 5: Compliment someone on a SPECIFIC thing that they did well.
So often we say “good job”, “you’re awesome”, “what a great team” etc. None of these phrases are necessarily bad, BUT…rewarded or recognized behavior gets repeated. So wouldn’t you want to be specific in your praise so that the person understands what it is they did that bears repeating. So give praise–in the moment–for specific behaviors that are in line with missions, team goals and desired results.
Now that you have a few ‘Acts’ to get started with, let me know how it goes in the comments!