You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force

Publilius Syrus (85-43BC) a Roman slave, brought to Italy from Syria

Really? Surely we have to be hard-nosed, tough and ruthless to survive in today’s competitive world? Isn’t it dog eat dog? Survival of the fittest? Don’t let anyone get the better of you?

Actually, our culture is changing and research is showing that kindness makes sense and doesn’t do us any harm, either. Bullying is being recognised and challenged in schools and workplaces – it’s not acceptable or accepted as the norm.

We’re hearing more about the importance of ‘well-being’ and the prevalence of poor mental health in our society. The fast-paced, always available world we live in can leave us susceptible to stress and feeling out of control of our lives.

What better way to help each other than to act with kindness – just little things, like remembering our manners, resisting the temptation to get a laugh at someone else’s expense, thinking about how we speak to each other – and many more. For me, it’s definitely watching what comes out of my mouth and trying to be more encouraging than critical.

Those of us who were in Guides or Scouts may remember being encouraged to do a  ‘good deed for the day’ – the modern term is ‘random acts of kindness’ – it’s about going through life looking for opportunities to treat other people the way we’d like to be treated. New Zealand has led other nations in having a Random Acts of Kindness Day – whatever next!

In working with all sorts of organisations, small and large, I’m seeing how kindness pays dividends in terms of team morale, motivation, loyalty, excellent customer service and increased business – not to mention that it’s just the right thing to do!

Kindness is catching and can change the atmosphere around us – I challenge you to be a pacesetter!