Be kind

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.

—Carl W. Buehner

Shine a little light

it may be that
kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world

Michael Blumenthal, Be Kind

Over the weekend, some feedback came back to me through networks of how I was perceived in a former workplace. That feedback was simple – ‘Simon was so nice’. While nice may not be the richest adjective, I came to understood that my kindness to others was appreciated. While I doubt that view was universally held, it was comforting to hear that my efforts in relationships were appreciated. Kindness, generosity, an interest in others and a willingness to help are rare enough in large organisations to be remarkable.

When you put yourself into the shoes of others and seek to understand their situation, it can be hard to engage with people in any other way. There are evil people and they are best avoided. However, so many poorly performing people are confused as to their goals or distorted by the systems in which they operate. In my experience kindness leads to reciprocity and trust and they are on the list of the few things that can help someone to better behaviours. Leaving a little kindness behind as you go about your day makes even unpleasant situations more bearable.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar

Traditional Proverb

Collaboration is one of the few superpowers that we mere mortals can invoke. How else can we borrow the assistance of others – their knowledge, their efforts, their capabilities and more? Kindness oils the wheels of collaboration opening up to us access to a force magnifier of productivity as our networks lean in to return the favour. Don’t view kindness as a reciprocal transaction. I have received way more generosity than I have ever given. Even more extraordinarily, I have received it from strangers who know people in my network or simply saw my kindness to others.

we know the moment kindheartedness
walks in. Each praise be
echoes us back as the years uncount
themselves, eating salt. 

Yusuf Komunyakaa, Kindness

It takes no more effort to be kind and often it takes less when you remove all the scheming, shouting and unintended reactions to unkindness. Kindness need not be confused with being soft. The world yields to those who are purposeful, but kind in their relationships. Everything we do, we do in relationships with others. A little kindness goes a long way on those well networked paths.

PS By the way our productive network relationships don’t end at our social media relationships. They only begin there. As much as it can be tempting to be smarter or sharper or one-up in that medium, don’t. Keyboard warrior, troll, that guy on Linkedin and reply guy aren’t terms of endearment and aren’t titles that lead to greater or more productive things

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