Harmonious workplace relationships can make going to work an absolute pleasure. If you think your workplace could use a little more kindness and inspiration, one of the first steps you can take is to recognize that kindness is an action.
Basic Kindness requires little effort and can bring about connection and joy. Consider the following gestures:
– Say “Please"
– Say "Thank you”
– If you’re incredibly busy, smile at a colleague. A smile can be a simple acknowledgement of someone else’s presence, or a show of solidarity.
– Say “Good morning.”
– Say “Good night” to someone. Have you ever been heads down on a project and realized by the time you look up that half your co-workers have left the office? The simple act of saying “Good night" recognizes that work is a team effort, and especially if you’re someone’s Manager, can make them feel seen for their contributions.
– If you’re an introvert, try an act of cyber-kindness: by sending a thank you or compliment via email, messenger, or other communication tool. Your act gives the other person room to respond on their own time, and they can save it for future moments when they may need a boost.
– Ask a coworker, “How was your weekend?” Listen to their answer, ask follow up questions, or offer supportive comments depending on their response.
– Hold the door open for someone
– Give appropriate credit where credit is due
– Don’t engage in petty criticism. We all need to remind ourselves to stay out of negativity and instead be kind, nice, and thoughtful.
– Recognize one another’s strengths, not weaknesses. In many workplaces, kindness goes out the door when younger and older employees must work together. Young employees get frustrated when their older colleagues can’t use the latest technology quickly and efficiently. And older workers become frustrated with their younger counterparts’ different work ethic. The problem is that the parties on both sides of the age gap are focusing on what they view as the other’s weakness.
Compassion is being in tune with others, caring about them—and that is what invokes compassion - you feel curiosity, respect, and real empathy.
We can show more compassion at work by:
– Noticing when there is pain in the room and create a safe place for people to be able to express their pain when needed.
– Not judging. Try not to make sense of someone’s behavior. Simply listen to what they need to share.
– Not worrying about doing the right thing or acting perfectly. Be present and let your colleagues know they are seen.