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Have you ever noticed that the most grateful people are also the kindest? I don’t mean the people who will bend over backwards to do things for you, because they desperately need to be liked. I’m talking about the people who are genuinely grateful and confident about their place in the world.
It’s easy to find fear mongering headlines or information about the divisive times that we currently live in. These stories often have grandiose statements about unprecedented anger, polarizing political forces, narcissism; really the worst that humankind can produce. But I wonder, are the majority of people really that unkind? Is our society on the brink of collapse? No, I think it’s a matter of perspective. If you look for misery, you will find it, but if you look for kindness, gratitude, generosity, you will find that too. All a good grassroots movement needs is one inspiring person to lead it. Could you be that person?
Some of my favorite examples that show us that goodness and hope are alive and well:
Individual kindness and generosity is happening daily –
Remember the story about the volunteer grandpa who holds babies in the NICU? Well he just raised the kindness stakes – https://www.romper.com/p/this-grandpa-who-cuddles-babies-in-the-nicu-as-a-volunteer-just-made-the-most-heartwarming-gesture-11913763
And then there’s the news channel Cheddar that covers stories of innovative products that make people’s lives better – https://news.cheddar.com/what-is-cheddar-6e3e0ebfcdf1
How about the list of companies that are doing good things for their employees, customers and the environment –
Even the scientists agree that things are better now they have ever been –
So what does this have to do with managing your team?
It has everything to do with it. The culture and character you establish, how you communicate the rules of engagement, they matter. Your employees spend more of their waking hours at work then they do at home. So it matters at an individual and team level but it also matters to the greater world.
Consider the following:
- What standard do you set for behavior among team members? Is it ok to gossip about someone? Dress them down in a meeting? Leave someone out of a group activity?
- Do you volunteer as a group outside your organization?
- Do you show employees how to work through conflict so that anger and resentment have no place on your team?
- Are you kind when you discuss a person or group who has been arrogant or short sided with you? You may have a reason to treat them just as poorly as they treated you, but should you?
- Do you encourage and mentor gratitude? Character development? Emotional maturity?
- How do you treat the people who are “less than”? As the old adage goes – “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Bottom line: Treat others as you would like them to treat you. Kindness is everything.