When it comes to career success and professional aspirations, kindness may get overlooked in favour of qualities like hardworking, self-starter, tenacity and perseverance. Many people also tend to falsely believe that being nice can hinder your career. However, there’s a big difference between being overly nice or passive and being genuinely kind. The latter one plays an integral role in the workplace and can be a valuable tool for your success, whereas the first one could indeed hold you back in certain situations. In support of World Kindness Day, on 13th November 2019, we discuss the importance of making kindness the norm in our day to day lives.
The concept of “paying it forward” at work
Although the concept of “paying it forward” might seem trivial in the workplace, treating others with respect and common decency should never be thrown out of the window. And truth be told, we’ve all encountered some nastiness at work at some point, whether it’s a rude, difficult colleague or an unpleasant, unreasonable boss. But is there ever any truly good reason to act without kindness in the office?
In a world where people are desperately trying to get the upper hand, while stepping over others, the importance and power of remaining ethical should not be underestimated. At the end of the day, if you burn bridges to get to the top, it will likely come back around to haunt you. So, from interpersonal relationships to professional opportunities, here are only some of the endless ways kindness can enhance your career success.
Being kind benefits networking opportunities
When it comes to getting promoted or landing your dream job, getting selected over other qualified candidates, it’s not necessarily all about what you know. It’s more commonly to do with who you know! Your connections can make a huge difference, and this is sound advice. Always be thoughtful of the way you treat people. Remember your reputation stays with you as you move forward and there is nothing better than a great first impression. So, use kindness as an influential force when networking, interacting with customers or establishing your presence on the job market.
Kindness increases collaboration and teamwork success
No matter what job you do, you need to be able to work and collaborate with others. Chances are you will not be getting along with everyone you work with, but you still have to get along well enough to get the job done. And what better way is there, other than showing respect and kindness? Being kind, polite and mindful are not only the best ways to get people on board, but they’re also an inspiring show of leadership and strength of character. Therefore, building a reputation for being respectful and kind, you become an invaluable asset in teamwork situations and a highly contributing member of the organisation.
Kindness creates a ripple effect
Good and bad moods can easily permeate throughout an office and shift the mood of the entire team. So, instead of being that one person who brings others down, choose to be the colleague who cheers the team up. Kindness creates a ripple effect and inspires others to act the same. So, why not take it upon yourself to be a positive influence? This will inevitably make you feel more at ease at work, making your tasks seem less daunting or monotonous.
Kindness counteracts stress and deadlines
An altruistic, generous mentality and attitude can neutralise environments of tension or anxiety. That can be very effective when having to deal tight deadlines, meetings or other unexpected obligations in the office. As a result, kindness can not only counteract anxiety and stress but also boost morale and create a positive atmosphere.
Kindness prompts attention from superiors
When it comes to career progression, it’s not all just about the numbers. Bringing in results may be crucial, however, intangible qualities can really take you the extra mile and make you stand out in the eyes of your superiors. Demonstrating consideration is a strong sign of employees who have an aptitude for leading, communicating, motivating and building meaningful relationships within a team. And research shows that a positive person is more likely to be promoted faster. Therefore, ensuring that your attitude reflects kindness could actually accelerate your position and impact within the company.
Kindness increases productivity
Interacting with colleagues on a personal level builds a rapport which goes beyond any dividing walls, promoting solidarity. This mutual understanding of common goals and united front increases performance, in return. Moreover, scientific evidence supports that a culture of caring and compassion develops employee engagement while reducing staff downtime.
Kindness in the workplace has often been perceived as a sign of weakness. But believe it or not, it can set a catalyst for success and career growth. So, remember that incorporating kindness and compassion into your life can result in a tremendously positive change for you, your career and the people around you. Always treat people with kindness and and you will soon reap what you sow!
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