How to Be Kind at Work
Compared to traits like leadership, creativity, and efficiency, kindness is rarely discussed.
Well, it might be time to make kindness a personal priority. Think about the benefits: when you’re kind, you create stronger relationships, promote a healthier work culture, and feel happier.
We’ve got some strategies for actively being kind at work.
Assume Positive Intent
When you assume positive intent, you consciously choose to believe that other people have good intentions.
For example, if someone disagrees with you during a meeting, you assume that he or she is trying to help identify the best choice for the organization—not make you look bad.
It sounds simple, but most of us assume negative intent by default.
Interpreting others’ actions through a positive lens not only makes you more patient and relaxed, it also makes you less cynical and judgmental. You’ll find yourself being far kinder.
Be an Advocate
Of course, you don’t want to mistreat or take advantage of your coworkers or associates. However, you should also stand up for these colleagues if someone else is mistreating or taking advantage of them.
Let’s say Grant, one of your team members, claims credit for an idea that you know belongs to Hakan, another teammate. You could either do nothing, or you could pull Grant aside and ask him what the deal is.
Sometimes you might not have enough authority to confront the offender. In these situations, we recommend going to the person being mistreated and offering empathy and emotional support.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness
With very little effort, you can make your coworker’s day. Plus, you’ll probably start a chain reaction of nice actions.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Bring a coworker coffee or breakfast
• Write someone a note saying thank you for his or her hard work
• Show up with flowers for the common area
• Give a colleague one of your favorite books
• Ask if anyone needs a ride to work
• Volunteer to help an overwhelmed teammate with one of his or her projects
• Invite someone to lunch, on you
The idea of forgiving others’ mistakes is scary. After all, won’t that imply weakness? Won’t it convince people they can take advantage of you and get away with it? Not at all. In fact, research suggests that the more forgiving you are, the higher your status will be—plus, people will want to reward your kindness by working harder and better.
So the next time someone around you messes up, forgive the mistake.
That’s not to say you should ignore it. Treat the error as a learning opportunity; talk to the other person about what went wrong, why, and how he or she will act differently moving forward. (And if someone is continually making the same mistake, you should figure out the core problem. Being forgiving shouldn’t come at the expense of the company.).
Being tough might get you results—in the short-term. But in the long-term, being kind will win you respect and trust, which ultimately will make you far more successful.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the seventh consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is now the 14th largest IT staffing firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 26 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.