Lyn Watson shares 10 ways to show kindness at work. Plus, watch an inspiring video about making employees feel valued and respected.
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August 15, 2013
10 Ways to Show Kindness at Work
by Lyn Watson
No matter your business, the most important asset to any organization is its people. If you or your coworkers do not feel valued and respected, your customers will not feel valued either. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” 
So here are ten things I’ve learned—many the hard way—that can help make your organization a great place to work! 
Image of employees greeting one another1. Smile.
This may sound simplistic, but a smile is contagious and can brighten one’s day in a moment. As Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
2. Never begin a sentence with you.
When this happens, people automatically become defensive and completely shut down. Instead, think of ways to rephrase the statement or create a question.
3. Encourage others.
It is easy to have a critical tongue, especially when on a tight deadline at work. But the truth is that we reap what we sow. It is important to continually encourage others as this breeds trust, loyalty, and teamwork. Plus, whatever is celebrated is usually repeated.
4. Focus on others and less on self.
Take a sincere interest in colleagues by knowing what they value. Enjoy small talk, and identify with their dreams. 
5. Choose your words wisely.
Words are powerful as they can either build someone up or tear someone down. Take the time to think before you speak. 

6. Ask Questions.
People love to talk about themselves. Provide that opportunity by asking questions. 
7. Listen more; talk less.
There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth—we should listen twice as much as we speak! It is amazing what we can learn if we simply stop and listen.
8. Watch your tone of voice.
Be aware! If your tone is threatening, harsh, or combative, this will drive people away. Remember the saying: “You can attract more flies with honey than vinegar.”  
9. Be intentional with your body language. 
Actions speak louder than words. No matter what you “say,” if your body language tells a different story, then your words won’t matter. Make sure your words and body language give the same message.
10. Control your emotions instead of letting them control you.
Choosing to react out of love instead of fear creates a lasting investment in others. Reacting harshly leads to broken trust, reduced productivity, and disengagement. Decide ahead of time how you will react so you can keep your cool and not react in the heat of the moment. 

Permission granted to reproduce this article for educational use. 
Lyn Watson is director of training and coaching for Strata Leadership. E-mail us to learn about training workshops such as "Energizing & Engaging Employees," "Communication & Listening Skills," "Managing Workplace Stress," "Diversity & Culture," and more.

NEW Video

As a centerpiece in their community, Kansas Aviation has a reputation of making their employees feel valued and respected. They have used Character First resources for years and successfully created a culture that displays Gentleness. Take a few minutes to learn about their story.

Click to watch the NEW video from Kansas Aviation

Featured Resource

Bullying in schools has drawn national attention as incidents have become more frequent and violent. This is why Dr. Virginia Smith, Character First Education Director, has written a research-based bully prevention curriculum for middle school and high school. 
Sample image of the NEW bullying curriculumIf you know someone who might like to pilot this curriculum, please e-mail Strata Leadership or call 405-815-0001. (The curriculum is scheduled for release September 30.)
  • Easy-to-use format that requires minimal preparation
  • 18 units that can fill a semester or a school year
  • Program divided into three major sections: Understanding, Preventing, & Responding to bullying
  • Filled with real-life school scenarios that address physical, verbal, social, and cyber bullying
  • Focuses on underlying attitudes, not just outward actions
  • Helps students take ownership of their actions and build a school culture of respect

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