Kindness At Work: Lifting Others With You As You Climb

Kindness At Work: Lifting Others With You As You Climb

Now more than ever we need to try and be considerate of others- the whole world has a lot on its plate. We can’t always control how stressed we become, but we can try to create an empathetic and kind space. There is this stereotype that successful people have often stepped over a few bodies to get to that point and that many bosses can be unpleasant people- that it takes a special kind of ruthlessness to reach the top of the ladder. Yet, there is research to show that compassion in the workplace can go a long way, and can keep yourself and others on the right track.

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Kicking old ideals

We may think that kindness and success cannot go hand in hand because kindness may indicate that you are happy to let others walk all over you. However, you can remain strong and assertive without losing your ability to be kind. Research shows that when others are treated with kindness in the workplace, they feel motivated to pay the kindness forward by a significant margin. Building relationships with our coworkers and showing that you are reliable is a valuable trait, and can be achieved without losing your footing. Small actions can make a world of difference, and will rarely make the wrong impression.

The public nature of news and opinions means that reputation is more important than ever. Creating a positive reputation can in turn help with recruitment and retaining employees, so it’s becoming the norm to make an inclusive and safe atmosphere one of the core principles of a workspace. So much so that if inclusivity is not announced as an important part of the work dynamic, it tends to make us a bit nervous.

Studies show that when young people are treated with respect by their bosses and coworkers, they are more resilient at work and enjoy their jobs more. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as we all want to feel like we are appreciated in the workplace, and working towards a common goal can help to make this a reality. When we feel unconfident or underappreciated in our position, we are far more prone to burnout- which can have a pretty serious effect on all aspects of life.

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An open space for everyone(?)

When we think about kindness, this includes an open dialogue with those around us, but who does that refer to exactly? Turns out the answer seems to vary across people and generations. An interesting study has found that there is a pretty big divide between the younger and older generations in the workforce. Research suggests that younger people often feel that older workers can hold back minorities or those more deserving of their position.

Kindness at work: lifting others with you as you climb

Workplaces can often draw out the difference in mindsets- how you react to a scenario can depend on how much choice and influence you believe a person to have on their surroundings. Having a more choice-orientated mindset can help you to take initiative and be more productive, yet it can also lead to blaming others when problems pop up. We may feel that since we have succeeded others need simply follow suit, and those of us that fail are simply not trying hard enough. This can lead to placing all blame for falling short on the individual without considering the reasons why.

Research has shown that those of us that believe we have more power and choice are more likely to punish those that fall behind because they are considered more responsible for failure.

This is perhaps a reminder to be wary of how we consider others and remember to look at situations with a degree of empathy, rather than jumping to conclusions.

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Some small ways to practice kindness

Kindness comes hand in hand with gratitude, as understanding what we want from others can help us to be more proactive ourselves. Practicing gratefulness in everyday life can also help to improve overall mental health, and encourages you to exist in the moment rather than bustling ahead to the next task.

One of the biggest, more tense areas is receiving feedback or criticism. Because you are working towards a creative goal alongside other people, you will inevitably find creative differences from time to time. This is normal and not something to shy away from. If a work colleague comes to you with feedback, try to see this as a learning opportunity rather than a slight on you as a person. Letting them know that you hear what they’re saying, and engaging rather than getting defensive is a big way to let people know they are safe in being forthcoming with you. It’s also great practice for regulating how to react to more emotionally charged situations, and responding proactively rather than reactively.

Overall, we all need a little kindness at the moment. It can be difficult to dig deep and find that little extra bit of consideration, but if you do then it’s likely to be paid back to you tenfold.