It turns out, people crave kindness

Posted by Christine Campbell on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 11:25 AM PST

Woman Smiling

The most shared article on Linked In in December 2019 was The Possibility of Being Kind at Work. This topic struck a chordwith over 85,000 positive reactions. 

In the article, author Karen Lindner notes that many managers aren’t trained with tools to help people work better. Workplaces in 2020 are filled with pressure, uncertainty, and fatigue. Incivility in the workplace creates a negative ripple effect, decreasing productivity and increasing employee turnover, health, and mental health issues and impacting personal relationships. 

How to combat incivility?  

The article offers some immediate ways to be kind at work: 

  • Be kind to yourself: What story do you tell yourself about yourself? You cannot be kind to others if you’re not kind to yourself. 
  • Make it your intention to be kind every day. 
  • Communication basics: Say “hello, please and thank you”. 
  • Pause and think before you speak: Is it kind? Is it necessary? 
  • Surprise someone with an unexpected action: Buy a coffee for someone. Offer your help. 
  • Hold the door open for someone else: This means being mindful and present instead of being lost in thought. 
  • Be personable: Address a person with his or her first name – in person or in an email. 
  • Express your appreciation to a minimum of 3 people a day. 
  • Respect someone else’s opinion. 
  • Listen to someone by giving the person your undivided attention. 
  • Be kind to unkind people. 
  • If someone is kind to you, pay it forward. 

 

How to be a better leader? 
In the long-term, though, leaders must learn how to manage better and improve work culture. 

Courses at Seattle University are built to equip working professionals with those in-demand skills. Part of the university’s mission is “to empower leaders for a just and humane world. In programs like the Online MBA, the Certificate in Leadership Formation and the Master in Transformational Leadership, people learn how to be better leaders and how to lead change. They also learn about organizations -- how to lead and thrive in them, and how to create better work cultures, with more diverse and inclusive environments and healthy communication.  

Gallup’s extensive workplace research in 2019 found that in today’s changing workplace, people want to work for jobs with a purpose and they want to grow and develop their strengths. They also want coaches rather than managers, who value them as people and employees.  

It’s never too late to learn how to be a better leader. Take courses on leadership and management, and model what you want to see in the workplace. And in the meantime, “Choose kind.”