Celebrating World Kindness Day: Your Guide to Cultivating a Kinder Workplace
The entire team at Corporate Training Materials wants to wish everyone a Happy World Kindness Day!
According to inspirekindness.com, World Kindness Day celebrates and encourages kindness towards each other, yourself, and the world.
“The purpose of this day is to help everyone understand that kindness is what binds us all together. This understanding has the power to bridge the gap between nations. With kindness, we can overcome the divides of politics, race, religion, gender, and so much more. What began as an effort from the World Kindness Movement at a Tokyo conference 21 years ago is now a global movement reminding everyone of the power of kindness” (inspirekindness.com).
So, to celebrate the special occasion, we are discussing ways you can spread kindness for a positive workplace. Simply spreading kindness can impact everyone around you, and the power it has is immeasurable.
Below is our guide to spreading kindness for a better workplace.
How can we use kindness to encourage a positive workplace that positions employees for success? The answer is appreciative inquiry.
Appreciative inquiry focuses on bringing out the best in people and discovering how they use their skills to function in their work and everyday life. This approach is designed to focus less on negativity and criticism, and more on utilizing personal strengths and encouraging discovery.
There are many techniques and practices that can be used to bring about positive change through appreciative inquiry. Learning about appreciative inquiry not only benefits the employee, but the entire company. It helps address ways to encourage positive thinking instead of using negativity or even criticism.
If your team has negative feelings about where they work, it can show in their general happiness and even productivity. When you change how a person views, or thinks about the company, and their roles in it, you change how the company is perceived as a whole. This is why it is always important to meet with employees and listen to what they have to say; value their ideas and opinions. Sometimes being a listening ear is one of the kindest things you can do.
Positive imagery is another way to demonstrate kindness in the workplace for your employees. Positive imagery can often serve as a reminder of good work, and it can also serve as a reward. The use of positive imagery will result in an increase in performance and productivity.
Our performance is based upon the kind of outcome we want, and if we reinforce what we want with positive imagery, then we are not afraid to go after it. Maybe it’s the image of having happy coworkers when you complete a project, or the image of an empty desk at the end of the week. Remind yourself of these positive images to keep you focused on the task at hand and keep doing your best to get it done.
Another aspect of being positive is being able to see the best in people, instead of being critical. Of course, no one is perfect, but that does mean we have to define them by it. When we recognize the best in people, not only do we benefit from knowing what great attributes they can contribute, but we spread kindness and make employees feel more confident about themselves and their job skills.
Confidence motivates employees to do to do their best to make progress and meet organizational goals. Remember to compliment employees on their job skills and what they have accomplished. When you find yourself focusing on what they have done wrong, refer to your mental list of all of their good qualities and determine which list overpowers the other.
Interested in learning more about this topic? Check out our Appreciative Inquiry Workshop.
Kindness Towards Your Colleagues
Kindness in the workplace goes hand and hand with civility, as they both ensure people feel safe and respected.
The following are just some of the recommended interventions for creating greater civility in your company:
- Create, communicate, and enforce policies regarding civil behavior in the workplace. Organizations have the power to create the kind of culture they desire by making the practice of civil behavior part of company policy. The key is in being explicit from the very onset what is desired and expected behavior from managers and staff members alike. These policies should be included in the training program of each incoming employee. Pre-determined consequences of uncivil behavior in the workplace must also be consistently enforced to ensure that civility ideals don’t remain just words on paper.
- Increase accountability and transparency in the company. Incivility in the workplace may persist because company set-up makes it easy for acts of incivility to go unnoticed. If there is nothing keeping an employee from posting derogatory emails to co-workers anonymously, then the company is providing instigators with opportunity. If performance review is based only on the opinion of the immediate supervisor, then it gives supervisors leverage to treat subordinates as they wish. But if there is a system for accountability and transparency in a company, then there is a deterrent against instigators of incivility.
Interested in learning more about this topic? Check out our Civility in the Workplace Workshop!
Another component of spreading kindness toward your colleagues is having a support team at work. Some may even say this is the key to success and happiness. Your support team isn’t just the team members or coworkers who provide administrative or other support for your work. A good support team is made up of people you can turn to for advice, help, feedback, or just a kind word. As you build relationships with your coworkers, consider who you want on your “support” team and who you can offer support to.
You might include your manager or supervisor, people with whom you often collaborate or cooperate, or colleagues who you have built more personal relationships with. Once you have built your support team, check in with them often. Checking in with your support team and spreading kindness to them might be something you build into your breaks, as it gives you a chance to bounce ideas or seek support if you are struggling. However, be sure to check in with your support team when things are going well, too!
Interested in learning more about this topic? Check out our Increasing Your Happiness Workshop!
Kindness Towards Yourself
While it is important to spread kindness to others, it also important to give ourselves the same grace. A good place to start with this is to identify and understand your strengths.
Identifying your strengths can give an instant confidence boost because it is a reminder of your positive attributes and what you have to offer.
When we don’t notice our strengths right away, we assume that we don’t have any, or worse, downplay the ones we do have.
A common exercise to find our strengths includes making a list of everything that we are good at. Review this list several times and remember a time when you had to use each attribute. Keep this list – whether it be mental or even written down - nearby to always remind yourself of your strengths, and remain confident.
Some things to consider while identifying your strengths:
- Analyze how you handle situations
- Determine what your desires are and how you go after them
- Examine the ways you solve problems
Sometimes personal modesty can keep us from seeing our own successes, which can keep us from feeling fully confident or self-assured. Our past successes are often viewed as our roots, or the areas that be started from and built upon to progress forward. We often forget to use these successes to remind us what it took to get us to our personal level of achievements. But when we relive these successes, it can remind us that we can overcome almost anything and can feel ultimately better about ourselves. When we feel more confident in ourselves and our success, it can reduce our stress and serves as an anchor for positivity.
Some tips for remembering successes include:
- Keep a visual reminder, such as a trophy or chart.
- Review these successes in your head constantly.
- Talk about successes with friends and learn from each other.
We at Corporate Training Materials wish everyone a very happy World Kindness Day! We hope you take some time to spread kindness throughout your workplace and the world in general.
What are your thoughts on kindness in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.
Posted by Katelyn Roy on