I hate the saying 'it's never too late', because it could be. The past few weeks which for all have been rather different, lets say, have highlighted the need to for every person on this planet to take action, do you own bit to make a big difference. Be kind.
If you are leading an organisation and have focused on operational and financial sustainability - great you've got 3 sides of the triangle in place. Now I urge you to value taking action around your staff. Starting with being kind. It isn't easy to ask others how they are nor is it easy for the person being asked to honestly reply, so approach it a different way with actions not just words.
Calling team members regularly or sending company e-mails isn't really communicating unless you have a call to action, a purpose and an outcome. Asking if somebody is ok and accepting yes as the answer really isn't cutting it. Go further and engage in a conversation about something meaningful. If this doesn't come naturally for you, write some bullet points at first to keep you on track, it will soon feel much more fluid and enjoyable. Like most things, the more you do them the easier they become!
When we make time for others, when we genuinely care and show kindness the relationship between the 2 parties becomes stronger. Connections that are solid allow for more open conversations, creative thinking and honesty. Research also suggests that the person being kind reaps greater overall benefits than the recipient - win-win. Plus it costs nothing apart from thoughtfulness and time.
Action for happiness website shares some simple yet effective acts of kindness and even spells out how to start. Check out the website for new details:
In the meantime, try spending some time really communicating with your staff and taking action. Some tips below to get you started in no particular order...
- Smile when on the phone and of course on vidcon
- Draft some open ended questions to help you
- Swap the 'How are you?' questions to ones such as 'Tell me about your day today?' 'What has been a highlight/challenge?', 'If I could remove one barrier stopping you being happier at work what would it be?'
- Make a few notes and use your deeper listening skills to confirm you've heard
- Be authentic, share something about you, how you feel.
- Avoid being patronising!
- Robotic, tick box chats - never a great approach
- Secure enough time to not need to cut any enriched conversations short
- Follow up on their responses actions speak louder than words remember!
Don't ever put off being kind until tomorrow