We are living with the business legacy of “Greed is Good” and the bully’s might makes right; the political rise of Donald Trump in the US is a prime example of this. Those who shout the loudest and are the meanest get the most attention. Kindness can be seen as weak and no one wants to be weak in business.
But is kindness weak? I don’t think so, in fact I think kindness is a show of strength. Because in a stressful, aggravating situation or in anger it is so easy to be mean or short. This is in fact is the default response we humans are wired for, to respond to stress. It takes effort and some thinking to respond kindly. It takes bringing us out of ourselves and into the shoes of another person, hard in the age of the selfie.
Kindness takes a strength of character that can be difficult and there is so little time these days to deal with difficulty. But it is so important, it is one of those hard to quantify things but without it the world would be a bereft place.
It’s the same in business, in fact business runs on the milk of human kindness. Without kindness, ideas would not be encouraged, people would not be able to work together, there would be no order, without these things businesses would not be able to get off the ground much less be effective.
Kindness can be the big things like passing on the name of a business or supplier to a potential client, or the little things like complimenting someone on their outfit or a job well done. Kindness is about giving without expecting, it is to do good just because, not because of a return.
Kindness is also a prime leadership trait, a great leader doesn’t shout, boast and bully, great leaders live by kindness and pass that down through their organisations. And kindness can be lucrative, happy employees are productive, supportive and creative employees. Productive, supportive and creative are things that make money and promote good will and guess what, good will is profitable!
True strength doesn’t need to support itself with bombast and rudeness, true strength is quiet power and kindness is part of that power. We can harness that power for the benefit of each other as human beings and for the benefit of business.
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