Developing kindness in the workplace is a little different than being nice. We can find workplaces where individuals are friendly, pleasant to visitors, and courteous when needed. However, living within these cultures and climates can be very different when the curtain is pulled back to see reality. Do you want nice or kindness in your environment?
Do you think there is a difference between being nice and being kind? Do you know individuals who say something nice to someone and, as soon as they walk away, take a different tone? I want people to identify me as being kind. I will explain why!
Kindness is a foundation-built character trait rooted in respect and sincerity. If you think about individuals in your life who show thoughtfulness, sensitivity, understanding, and empathy in their daily interactions as a natural response, kindness is genuine.
I know I have said this before, “She is just being nice!” Nice individuals say things in agreement to avoid conflict. It is not usually based on honesty. A little white lie may be appropriate from time to time to save a co-worker's feelings. However, telling the truth in a way to protect them from others saying harmful things is something very kind to do.
As a leader, I feel it is essential always to be honest. There will be situations in which we need to have difficult conversations, but we will always have several solutions to provide. Being nice is essential at times, but kindness is a constant in our foundation.
Working in an environment where you find negative individuals, it only takes a few to make your culture toxic quickly. This happens when you have several nice individuals who avoid conflict. Instead of helping to stop the negativity, it goes on unchecked making others feel uncomfortable.
One of the lessons I have learned over my years came from wise women. Maya Angelou taught me if you do not have courage, you will not be able to practice anything else. To survive in any situation, start with courage. The first principal I worked for was Susan Riggle. She taught me when others are talking, and you say nothing, they believe you agree with them. Speak up goes right along with courage.
Kindness is what we all need today. Genuine and authentic to spread value to others with the brightness of our light we shine! Make your environment positive, kind and innovative. It can be precisely what you want if you choose to have the courage to be kind enough to help it along!