Monthly Archives: September 2013


If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know I have waxed about Kindness on several occasions: KINDNESS is one of my “Seven Keys” to Understanding and Working with Difficult People’. AND! the truth is Kindness is a KEY to understanding and working with people — all people — in general.

Every day I try to remind myself of this, and yes, some days I fall shorter than I would like because I let something else get in my way. It IS tough being kind when you: don’t feel well; are stressed; someone is in your face; someone treats you badly; something bad has happened to you or a loved one; and so on.

I could even say it it REALLY hard to be kind when you are: being given the run around; someone puts you down or hurts you badly; when you are dealing with frustration after frustration (e.g. calling internet providers and actually getting someone who can help you — a personal pet peeve); when you are being treated unfairly; etc.

I think perhaps sainthood should be reserved for people who can bring kindness to every situation they face. I do aspire to this; but don’t give me a halo just yet.

The one thing I have witnessed both in an everyday how-we-interact-with-the-world-sense, and even in a professional sense, is that Kindness makes such a difference. The best managers/professionals are those who place kindness before accountability, the bottom line, getting to the top, and so forth. I have seen this in people I have worked for; people I know (my wife is an exec at a large firm and exemplifies this positive approach and concept); and in people I have observed and worked with as a coach.

Every day in a myriad of ways we have the chance to choose Kindness over something else. Making such an effort almost invariably changes the situation for the better; changes us; and can even help change how someone is approaching/interacting with us.

In the previous blog I talked about courtesy. Courtesy is the tip of the iceberg — kindness takes it to another whole level.

Sometimes Kindness is simply finding a better, more positive way to approach something difficult.

Sometimes Kindness is simply adding a kind word, a pat on the back, a bit of encouragement, some positive feedback (instead of focusing on the negative), acknowledging a person for who they are and what they bring to this world, and so on on.

Kindness is so much easier than we think — the tough part is taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself on a moment to moment basis.

And here is a last thought: kindness comes from the heart; it has to be sincere in the giving.

Bring kindness into your heart and you WILL bring it to the world. Start today.


Joe Koob

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Filed under Understanding Difficult People


It seems such a little thing — to be courteous to others. How much effort does it really take to:

Let a car in when stuck in a line of traffic
Hold a door for someone (woman or man)
Help pick up something someone dropped
Give that best parking space to someone else, because you CAN walk a little further.

These are little things we can do every day.

Unfortunately I see so much of the opposite going on: people who are in such a hurry that courtesy is far removed from their repertoire of daily skills. Or is it people who are so into themselves that they don’t care for others? Or that they don’t care, period?

I read an interesting thing the other day that said that people who own high end cars (BMW owners, I believe topped the list), are the rudest and least likely to be courteous. Does money and wealth change who we are; or is it the choices we make?

I can relate so many discourteous happenings that I sometimes wonder if humanity has given up their humanity. I get upset and depressed because I see so much rudeness and deliberate negativity toward others. Maybe I am more sensitive because I write about positivity, and all this negativity just seems unbearable at times.

The truth is WE can choose courtesy NOW! Every day; every chance we get. Maybe it won’t change everyone; but I can tell you this — it makes all the difference to me when I am at the receiving end, or when I see someone else offer such to another. [Whenever I witness courtesy these days, I have gotten into the habit of giving the person a free book when I have one handy.]

And think about this: courtesy is only the beginning. It is the simplest of positive things we can do. Next blog I am going to wax a bit about choosing kindness. That’s taking courtesy to the next level, and the next.

Start with courtesy — make the effort every chance you get. You’ll feel better, and you will help some else feel better to, I guarantee it. And if it is me — then I thank you in advance. Love yah!

Joe Koob

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Filed under Musings, Understanding Difficult People