Kindness in life
Being kind is to give selflessly to others. It is to become aware of the needs of those around us, to become sensitive to the difficulties of others and to minimise the focus simply on ourselves.
As parents, leaders, teachers and coaches our role is to give, to encourage and to inspire those entrusted to our care. Life is like a trust and each of us is a trustee whose job is to nurture the hearts, souls and minds entrusted to us for the greatest benefit to all.
Our work is to enrich the lives of others. To encourage them to think for themselves, as themselves. To listen to their thoughts, feelings and what they want to say. To be patient as they learn, develop and grow. To appreciate them for who they are, the unique qualities they possess and the difference they make in our world.
From the earliest of days and in all spiritual teachings we are encouraged to be kind ‘love your neighbour, as you would love yourself’.
When people are impolite to you, that is the time to be exceptionally polite. When others are discourteous, that is the time to be more courteous. By being courteous and kind, you are educating others to grow in kindness.
Kindness at work
Our real job is to be kind. It might be demanding. Yet nothing we do could have more beneficial impact on those around us that remaining calm, considerate and optimistic in the midst of everyday ups and downs.
The real reward of work is not as many might suggest; power, prestige and profit. Rather the joy of work itself and the satisfaction of being deeply connected with the lives around you in service of a purpose bigger than anyone on their own might accomplish.
Real work contributes to life, rather than taking from it. Work provides the opportunity for us to find and nurture our skills and see how we fit into the journey, we call life with our fellow human beings.
Working together towards a vision for the good of all enables us to contribute our gifts, skills and talents. When we contribute we create meaning in our lives. Meaning generates fulfilment.
How we work is as important as what we do. Kindness at work is the capacity to do your best to put the welfare of others around you first, to positively contribute to the lives of others and to encourage their potential and inspire their growth.
Being kind at work is to listen. To be clear on expectations. To appreciate others for who they are as well as what they do.
Kindness in being
Our kindness is contagious. The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain by everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them more likely to ‘pay it forward’.
Mother Teresa encouraged us: “Let no-one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile”
Being kind is to be fully present, free from interruption, distraction and judgment. Is to listen with your heart, mind and soul. Is to treat another as they would like to be treated, with grace, dignity and respect.
Being kind is to sponsor another. To allow their goodness to shine through. To be there for them when they face challenges of life, big or small. Sometimes knowing you are there is all that is required. Other times the connection, interaction and exchange of thoughts allows the other to soar once more.
Being kind is the essence of our humanity.
Thanks for reading!
PS If you would like to discover more in generating kindness, how to help others think for themselves and to contribute at their best, join me on Developing a Thinking Partnership Retreat, UK, 12th-13th September & 11th October 2019.
Jane Adshead-Grant, MCC, FCIPD is an executive coach, facilitator and speaker. With 30 years experience in the corporate and coaching environment, Jane focuses her time on supporting leaders and their teams develop their leadership and culture where everybody matters to generate value for all stakeholders.
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