I remember one of my lecturers came so upset in a morning, usually, we were spending the first half hour talking politics and economic issues (his favourites and a great ice-breaking time to catch up with all of us), but that morning I could feel he is not himself, so I asked what’s wrong, he then told me that on his way in the morning he offered to help someone with their luggage while they wanted to board the train, and that person reacted in a very offensive way hurting his feelings, being a Londoner for the last five years I can easily relate to that as I’ve seen the best and worst while commuting.
After telling us what happened he then said that it is the last time he will do that gesture for anyone, knowing he is an amazingly kind human being I disagreed his statement and told him the opposite, that he shouldn’t change is a kind person due to a negative event and that, yes, being kind to the wrong people can have downturns but being kind to the right people is a game-changer and it is the secret ingredient that builds relationships and the right relationships can go a long way and have a significant impact in many lives.
A few years ago, I met someone who has a major impact on my personal development and since I am a professional (15 years), I first heard the words kindness and compassion formulated and in a business context. Since I heard them, they got stuck in my mind and I am pretty sure they aren’t going anywhere. A lot of us will think, really, kindness in business is hard to believe because everyone has confronted either with rigid management, untrusty bosses, or even bad customer service.
In Book II of “Rhetoric”, Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped. A recent study carried by BBC Radio4’s All in the Mind with the collaboration of the Wellcome Collection has found that 40 percent of the UK’ s population experience loneliness and although we are so digitally connected the social interaction led to increased isolation and an increase in the human-to-machine interaction creating an invisible wall on a global scale.
All of the above have a direct impact in any organization and can negatively impact the team productivity, so, to improve that and foster team synergy and turn less productive teams into more productive teams, we need to be mindful how we interact with our colleagues and peers, no matter the role or hierarchy we can bring a major contribution by being more kind and compassionate, doing random acts of kindness on a daily basis will have a positive impact and can build trust and commitment, also using empathy, without even knowing, can turn a person’s effectiveness.
A great example is something that we all do without noticing, a cheap form of belonging, Ted speaker, Emily Esfahani Smith is talking about this in her TED talk how we fake and pretend the world around us and interaction with the ones around us, from the person we buy our coffee, with colleagues at work and sometimes even with our own family. We live in a fast-paced environment where technology is changing our ways of doing things however this shouldn’t change the way we interact and our behavior, I would love to hear your feedback on this.
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