by Patricia Weber | Featured Contributor
With World Kindness Day celebrated in a good part of the world on November 13, we have to ask ourselves, why to start using more kindness in your business.
What comes to mind if you ask yourself, “Why start using more kindness in your business?”
Maybe you think are there some small or big ways I could demonstrate kindness? Besides my customers and my vendors, who do I extend kindness too? What can I do to be kinder to others?
Have you ever been walking somewhere in your town or one you are visiting and pass a begging homeless person? What goes through your mind?
Ashamedly for me I start at, “I wonder if they are really homeless.” Then my mind makes all kinds of reasons to keep walking. Often I slow my pace because my mind goes the other way and I say to myself, “Maybe they are down and need some help?” I even can go so far as to feel in my pockets for some loose bills or coins.
As previously said, ashamedly, I keep walking. It’s a suspicion that keeps me from extending a kind gesture.
The kicker is I never know if I did the right thing.
But please, don’t judge me and think, “how awful.” I’m not an awful person.
I do help older people by holding a store door open. I often take perishable foods into my church’s food pantry. I’ve been known to give someone a book I have because they mentioned, “I’d love to read…” I find myself thinking and acting in kind ways.
We can all be kind although it’s a bigger leap to put kindness at the center of who we are or making our business known for it.
There are many ways to use more kindness in your business, and I’m confident you have your ideas. Often we just have to start and go forward with the smallest gesture.
The key is not to our close heart off to the opportunity when it presents itself to us. I think if we operate from this fear as I described I have had with a homeless person, or even just missing an opportunity like helping someone carry a bag to their car we might find ourselves moving toward more selfish behavior or even worst, like becoming greedy.
“Greed is good,” the words proclaimed in the1987 movie, Wall Street, famous speech by Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas.) I’ve never believed this, have you?
Contrast this speech with what I heard recently from Charmaine Hammond on a webinar. After she and here husband took in a rescue dog Toby, she started moving forward with a way to help Toby with behavioral training. So Toby became a therapy dog!
From seeing how powerfully his love bonded him with people, she was inspired to lead the Million Acts of Kindness tour, and she says, social media helped her turn her message into a movement.
Whether you want a movement or business growth, it’s all about kindness.
We know what kindness and acceptance look like, the many gestures to express it as well as people who can teach us something about it. And of course, we might know people who can show us what it is not.
The ancient Greek storyteller Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Why to Start Using More Kindness in Your Business
My 91-year-old dad is a World War II Veteran. A few years ago on Veteran’s day, while I was having my morning coffee, I heard the news broadcaster say IHOP was giving Veteran’s free meals that day. What a wonderful gesture to say thank you to our Vets!
I immediately picked up the telephone to call my dad’s caregiver and ask if they could drive my dad to either his favorite IHOP or nearest IHOP to take advantage of this kind and generous offer.
Certainly other businesses might do something similar for either Veterans or another large group of our population.
A point is IHOP, and others find a brand awareness now associating them with generous acts of kindness like this one.
Both the reminder of World Kindness Day on November 13 and hearing Charmaine’s story got me thinking about, why to start using more kindness in your business.
For certain, a benefit is going to be how the media will cover what your business does. If this is your goal though, forget about it. Things don’t work that way in my experience.
Do what you can to get the community involved. Maybe you have a local food bank all your employees could contribute something. Or in our area we have a couple of local shelters for battered women, and while their location remains a mystery, they take all kinds of donations.
Who knows, you might become the go-to person in the future to organize such events.
Over on my introvert blog, I posted a quote often incorrectly credited. However, the wisdom is the same, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Sometimes we are stuck in our problems, challenges, and worries and often forget that others might be having some of their own. When it comes to employees, co-workers, or people who you stand in line with at your Starbucks, there are many reasons to be kind the biggest being, when you are kind to others it makes for happier people.
Now is the time for kindness in our business.
For many of us, the people who serve us in our grocery stores, at a pharmacy, even a bank or doctor’s office might be less than kind to us. You know the kinds of behavior!
It’s got to be up to those of us who understand why to start using more kindness in our business to make the first move. And no act is too small.
Go ahead – start now – leave a kind comment!
Why do you want to start using more kindness in your business?
You never know how it will come back to you and your small business.
Patricia Weber: I understand the possible difficulty of being an introvert in business and am on a mission to build the confidence of those more introverted, with a variety of practical tools to navigate communications work and life.
Since 2007, recognized internationally, on radio and in print, for most things introvert I blog at http://patricia-weber.com Followers, who regularly comment find the messages both resonate with them and inspire them.
My recent book, Communication Toolkit for Introverts: Find your voice in everyday business situations, is something a publisher asked me to write –imagine that.
If you are fed up with the often, uncomfortable extrovert rules, or tired of being tired, be ready to be inspired.
I am NOT shy. Many introverts are not either.
My work is not my life. I have other interests, in the past: had my own Harley Davidson (FX model no longer manufactured) until I slid horizontally a few times!
That’s why now; I go along with my husband in our safer car hobby.
Also, we enjoy traveling. We go from one coast to another to have the joy of seeing my son and his family including two granddaughters. On occasion, it’s off to Europe.