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.