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Kindness at Work

Why Kindness

First, exhibiting kindness is one of the few coping mechanisms that has actually proven to reduce stress in a meaningful way. Many typical means to deal with stressful situations involve eating, drinking, or wallowing in self-pity. These are all inward focused.

Kindness, however, is outward focused; it focuses on someone else. And numerous researchers have discovered that when we do something for someone else, our brains release dopamine, which makes us feel good.

So, it turns out that being kind to others can improve our mood and mental health.

Secondly, everyone wants to be known as kind. Our business environments are constructed around a take-no-prisoners attitude. Our offices become a paradox where our intentions do not match our actions.

In offices where kindness is practiced, however, employees are found to be healthier and happier. There are fewer conflicts to resolve, and coworkers are more socially connected.

Ironically, more altruistic work environments will produce happier employees, which increases productivity, which impacts the bottom line positively.

Finally, kindness just makes us happy. I know in my own experience that it takes only a small level of kindness to another person on my part to produce a large feeling of joy. Think back to your level of happiness the last time you bought a cup of coffee for someone just to hear how they are doing, or helped a neighbor whose car would not start, or unloaded a trunk of old clothing to a recycle operation that would get them to the needy. Kindness works.

How to Be Kind

Once you get started, there are unlimited ways to show kindness at work. Here are some generalized ideas I’ve uncovered.

  1. Care about the lives of your colleagues and employees. Take time to inquire about them and offer to help when needs arise.
  2. Provide support when someone in your office is struggling. We are all humans, and all go through the tragedies of living, and no one should have to go through that alone and without support.
  3. Be a source of inspiration to those you work with. Be cheerful and show kindness to others even when work is stressful and challenging.
  4. Demonstrate to others how you find meaning in your work. Show how you understand the connection between your job and how that impacts people, neighborhoods, and communities.
  5. Treat everyone with respect, trust and gratitude.

The Bible

We live and work in a world full of people, and as such, we all have the same kinds of problems and issues. Kindness is a choice we get to make every day, and we need to be aware that the result of making that choice multiples throughout all the people we meet. Showing kindness to one person ripples through our entire community.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Jesus has suggested we show kindness to everyone all the time. Starting with your workplace, show kindness and see the size of the impact that simple act can have.