Two simple words. "Be kind." Sounds so easy, right? Kindness
is the most basic human right that we should all agree on and
subscribe to. We've discovered that in today's world that's un-
fortunately not always the case. We believe that everyone could
use a little reminder to be kind.
Benefits of Kindness
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. And while it can sometimes have the connotation of meaning naïvety, or weakness, we now know that quite the opposite is true. Being kind can in fact require great courage and strength. Research has shown that compassionate work environments consistently have:
– Healthier employees and fewer absences
– Less turnover and an easier time replacing employees when they do leave
– Higher productivity
– Increased employee commitment and engagement
– Better customer service
“People aren't nice to each other because they don’t have time.”
My name is Tracy Brusman and I am the founder of Brushing Kindness. Over the course of 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people from all walks of life and I learned that simple acts of kindness and compassion go such a long way in helping people feel creative and productive.
A few years back, I had participated in an Emotional Intelligence workshop. The group spoke on issues about the reliance on technology and how we are losing the ability to effectively communicate with each other in person, culture clashes, and how people are feeling stressed while meeting deadlines. Someone pointed out that “other employees were no longer being nice to one another as they once were.” Strikingly, it was pointed out that co-workers at this large company were no longer even greeting one another “hello." The facilitator asked the co-workers why do they feel employees are not nice to each other. The group came to the conclusion that the main reason was because “we don’t have time.”
I’ve reflected on that statement many times since: “People aren't nice to each other because they don’t have time.”
Now you and I both know that it takes two seconds to smile and say, “Hello” or “Thank you”.
Practicing compassion and kindness in the office sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But in the face of multiple deadlines, obligations, and stress, it’s easy to look for shortcuts and overlook opportunities to put these values into practice. Whether it’s a cheerful greeting, asking about someone’s day, or simply delivering a harried co-worker a much-needed cup of coffee, acts of kindness set the tone for the office and are a simple and effective way to improve business. I'm talking about basic kindness.
As you spread your kindness, you might just experience what research has confirmed: Kindness can be contagious.
Why? The act of kindness actually activates the part of your brain that makes you feel pleasure. It also releases oxytocin, “the love Hormone” that helps modulate social interactions and emotion. The higher your oxytocin levels, the more generous you may be.
On a thoughtful note: Reportedly, one person in San Francisco picked up the tab for the next car in line at a coffee drive-through. This inspired the next person to do to the same. The chain continued for an astonishing 53 customers!
One good deed can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people! Seems like research supports the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The kinder you act toward others, the better you will feel.
THROUGH ART & KINDNESS
When you exercise your spontaneous right brain you invite insight and discover wisdom. This opening of the creative center of the brain produces phenomenal breakthrough in performance, energy, spirit, bonding, teamwork and out-of-the-box thinking.
Brushing Kindness offers on-site creative workshops to organizations on Kindness through a painting project called Changing Work Through Art & Kindness - people paint the Buddha.
Brushing Kindness 'paints it forward' by partnering with woman support groups and several Bay Area homeless shelters, by offering painting sessions to their clients. By taking one of our workshops or painting sessions - you are helping to brush a little kindness - one Buddha at a time!
Learn more about Tracy’s Brushing Kindness Workshops here.