BE KIND FOR A CHANGE™
Kindness has the power to change lives.
Spread it everywhere you go.
A highly competitive and frequently uncivil culture within an organization (and extended outward) fuels all sorts of unkindness that is often justified as "business, not personal" – even though real live human beings suffer damages on multiple levels with this type of workplace stress - that cannot be simply "meditated away."
Being kind in our professional lives makes logical business sense, as just about everyone wants to be treated with respect, honesty, fairness and appreciation. However, if a workplace environment is not consciously created to bring forth honorable and humane relationship behaviors between all stakeholders (and to feel psychologically safe to bring to light that which doesn't) what Case Western University Professor Dr. Richard Boyatzis teaches about Resonant Leadership in his book and trainings of the same name is absolutely true: what makes common sense isn't always common practice. While cultivating compassion and empathy is touched upon in almost every basic mindfulness training (via teaching what is commonly known as the "compassion practice" or "loving-kindness meditation"), teaching about kindness (along with its companions benevolence and goodwill) is worthy of greater emphasis within any trainer's "mindfulness toolkit" than it sometimes is given. This is especially true now that there is increasing scientific evidence to back up kindness' value as not only a trainable Life Smarts skill, but also one that can help to attain the ever-present reality of the business' financial bottom line, while also contributing to facilitating wholeness within a broken workplace, and by modeling how caring organizations can be a force for good.
Be Kind For A Change™ is my simple message media campaign to help inspire one another to consciously and purposefully choose to frame every interaction, situation, and moment with kindness and other harmony-building actions - and the positive ripple effect it has. While I agree that engaging in "random acts of kindness" is a spectacular idea, acting with kindness in our everyday lives, no matter who we are or what our sphere of influence may be is more than a random choice to do good deeds for others - it is a foundation for a life that is universally humane, ethical and inclusive. It shifts the focus from "me" to "we" - and feeling connected to collective humanity generates a deeper sense of meaning and purpose as a natural outcome.
Those of us who don't need science to validate the positive influence of kindness in all areas of life (and particularly at work) couldn't be more thrilled to see what is simply common business sense may indeed someday become common business practice. While the ROI of kindness may be a bit harder to measure for investor or board-requested metrics, it undoubtedly offers priceless intrinsic value in creating a workplace where people feel both valued and psychologically safe when they come to work each day, and the bottom line is achieved through a collective spirit of contribution, collaboration, caring and cohesiveness.