BE KIND

Kindness is a success factor

Why kindness is not weakness

In Summary

•If you think that kindness has no value in corporate life, then you have missed the mark.

•More than ever, empathy and kindness are now center stage in business affairs.

In a conversation, someone said to me, “rich people are not nice guys” and instinctively, I replied, “that is not entirely true.”

But I understood his perspective. The gentleman expressed the prevalent belief that you must be an unpleasant, bad-mannered person to be rich or successful–it is the ‘nice guys lose’ mentality. 

Generally, the corporate world gives us the impression of a space with zero tolerance for kindness.

This trait is considered soft and weak. It is believed that when you are kind in the corporate space, people would take advantage of or walk all over you.

Consequently, people toughen up and present a cold front so that they are not perceived as weak.

Also, they have no issues stepping on toes or being disrespectful to others to get results. Unfortunately, this is now acceptable behaviour.

The thinking that kindness is weakness is false. Kindness means treating people with dignity and respect. It does not mean that you won’t disagree or get in conflict with people, but even then, disrespect is not your default setting.

You do not view disrespect as a strategy. You do not strip people of dignity whether you agree with them or not.

Furthermore, kindness does not mean naivety or the absence of boundaries. It is not a situation where anything goes because you are a ‘nice guy.’ You can treat people with dignity and respect while establishing and protecting your boundaries.

This eliminates the fear of being taken for granted or treated like a doormat. Be kind with clear terms in place.

If you think that kindness has no value in corporate life, then you have missed the mark. More than ever, empathy and kindness are now center stage in business affairs.

In modern culture, the customer is immensely powerful – their reviews, comments, and social activities can make or break your business. Being kind to customers is not optional.

The days of flaky PR and marketing gimmicks are over. Now, customers seek genuine concern and care.

In the age of social media, kindness is quickly noticed and rewarded, and people are empowered to respond to the unkind accordingly.

It is becoming more difficult to get away with uncouth behaviour. Also, the financial implications of kindness on a business cannot be ignored.

As a business leader or professional, make a quality decision to be kind to your stakeholders and the people around you. It is cost-effective, and the returns are great. Ultimately, kindness pays, and that is the truth.

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