The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. And guess what, humans are hard-wired to be kind and generous.
When was the last time you surprised someone at your workplace with a cup of coffee or a chai latte? When was the last time you bought a colleague lunch when you saw they were overwhelmed with work? Or when was the last time you took a break with a colleague when they needed to be heard, and given them your time?
As you can see, gestures of kindness don’t need to be big, even something little can make a huge difference! You can make someone’s day or create an environment of caring and consideration, just by waving the magic wand of kindness.
You know the saying: monkey see, monkey do? … Well, you can be the change that your environment needs. One hot scorching day, a colleague of mine decided to go to the delicatessen to purchase the entire team an ice-cream to help us work through the afternoon. You can imagine what that did for us, right? We were all lit up like little Christmas trees because we felt that she had considered us. We were thought of and felt valued and cared for!
That very next day another colleague decided to buy coffees for the entire team.
Random acts of kindness can be contagious. They can create a positive, caring, friendly environment. And, the important on-flow benefit of that is an increase in productivity. Think back to my colleague who was thoughtful enough to grab us all an ice-cream… we were hot, sluggish and demotivated. After an instant gesture of kindness, and the chance to all stop work for a few minutes and savour a cold treat, we were all much more motivated and in higher spirits – there was an increase in ‘inclusion’ and team work.
It’s in our nature to feel compassion towards one another and to act on it! Even if there are no personal rewards. When we see someone under duress stress, it is innate in us to help them out and support them.
Fulfillment comes from giving…
While random acts of kindness are intended to benefit the people receiving them, numerous studies have shown that the people doing the good deed also feel pleasure and happiness as a result.
When you perform a random acts of kindness with your work colleagues, you help create strong connections with your team and boost their happiness, which has a knock-on effect where they are more engaged, inspired and successful in their work.
There is a lot of science around the emotions and endorphins that come from doing a good deed. More often than not, if you do a favour for a team member they will automatically want to return the favour – it’s the ripple effect from your actions. With every little bit of kindness that you share, you are cascading your kindness to others and yourself.
Have I got you thinking yet? About what you can do today, to make someone’s day? It can be as simple as sending someone an appreciation note or email. Or complimenting someone on a job well done. Taking the load off a colleague who’s under pressure. Take a moment to make someone else feel valued and appreciated, and watch the dynamics unfold before your very eyes!
What about outside of work? What random act of kindness can you do for your neighbours, elderly relatives or anything for your community?
Human interaction is the key force in overcoming resistance…
Human interactions and being connected to other people, is far more important than an iPad, iPhone or computer and yet that is the way of our world today. Most people tend to agree that technology (while amazing) has made us much more anti-social. Look around you at cafes and restaurants, at bus stops, on trains and trams … people are completely absorbed in their phones even though their colleagues, partner, friends are right there next to them!
Unfortunately, the serious downside of this is that we are more disconnected and less communicative. No wonder this world is upside down!
And sadly, it’s almost an ‘accepted norm’ that people put up with others being distracted by a device, even when they’re trying to have a conversation! This is just rudeness, if you ask me. But what’s more, is that we’re really missing out on opportunities for meaningful, fun, interesting, human interaction.
Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what and how you inspire others to do something different. And it starts with you, so I challenge you to start a movement of kindness and watch your environment rise and thrive.
Neurons that fire together, wire together, so be genuine at giving from your heart unconditionally … and not only can you make someone else feel good, you will too.
Give it a go – perhaps even just once a month, more if you can.
Don’t wait for others to be friendly or kind, show them how.