Like many others, a lot of my working days consist of a rush to get through to do lists, progress long standing projects and respond to urgent issues and the occasional crisis. They often feel like a blur of rapid interactions and conversations, and this speed can blunt our tone and sharpen the words we use.
Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day and it’s made me reflect on the importance of kindness as a central factor in how we interact with our colleagues.
Work can be a frustrating and stressful place even at the best of times, we feel beset by demands from all sides and under pressure to ‘get the thing done’. Despite the best of intentions that can mean we solely focus on the task(s) and lose sight that our interactions with colleagues can have an impact.
I’m sure we’ve all been involved in an interaction at work that’s left us feeling deflated, low in confidence, unsure, upset or anxious and sometimes we may be the people leaving colleagues feeling that way. It may also be that we rush from task to task, forgetting to acknowledge our colleagues, leaving them feeling invisible or not valued.
I and all of my colleagues have lives outside all of work, we may have struggles with family, money, self esteem and mental health. A knock at work isn’t just something that affects us from 9 to 5, it’s something we will carry with us and will compound anything else we are carrying.
I try to reflect on the above regularly, to be conscious of the way I interact with people, thinking about where they might be struggling and how a simple act of support, praise or empathy may have a positive impact. Simply, trying to be kinder.
I’m not perfect at this, but am committed to trying to make kindness the central part of my relationship with colleagues.