Kindness in organizations

I rarely see the term “kindness” used in organizations as a way to describe desired behaviour.

Staff are urged to be engaged, to collaborate, to be transparent, to respect a person’s sexual preference and gender. And not to “flirt, leer or wink”. (Mikado)

Management/leadership shows us the way, removing barriers to execution, hire as per the latest fad de jour, and maintains a work life balance. And if you follow social media, you get about a hundred inconsistent posts an hour how to be a great manager/leader.

But where has simple kindness gone? Simple plain common kindness. I am not going to define, because critics would tear me apart. But I know what it is, and I know it when I don’t see it.

Kindness has nothing to be with being assertive, demanding, delegating or assuming responsibility. (I myself am very goal oriented, yet I consider myself a kind and compassionate human being).

So for those who want to improve organizational life, get back to the basics. Small minuscule kindness can make a world of difference to organizational interaction.

Case One

I was in the US in the summer and there was a cold spell. I had not brought the appropriate clothing from home. The R&D manager drove me to a shop to buy a sweater in the middle of the day, cancelling an important meeting. “I noticed you were shivering”.

Case Two

While waiting in line for food, George speaks to the people who serve him

Case Three

CEO Jeremy ALWAYS closes hisĀ  phone during meetings and discussions.

Case Four

Marwan has made a rule for himself that he will never start or end the day without some small talk with his peers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Kindness in organizations

  1. The R&D manager who noticed you were shivering was attentive to your needs and showed consideration for you, a traveler from another country.

    Here is another case. A manager was taking his daily gemba walk through the facility and noticed that one area was unusually hot. Upon further walking, he saw that several of the fans were not working and his workers were sweating. He immediately dispatched one of his team to Home Depot to buy some standing fans for the area until the broken fans could be repaired.

    Kindness?

    These examples, of showing that you care about the well-being of others, make sense. They promote productivity. And they put a deposit in the relationship bank account (Covey).

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