“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
Being kind is proven to be good for our health and for those around us. So how can we cultivate more kindness in our day to day work?
We’ve outlined 5 short and simple steps to make your workplace a kinder and happier place to be.
1. Start each day with a thank you
Studies have shown starting each day with gratitude leads to greater wellbeing. And who doesn’t like being appreciated? Start each day thanking someone, for a job well done or a kind act they do. It can be an email, face to face or accompanied with a smiley face – real or virtual. Smiling unicorns may be a step too far though, in my humble opinion.
2. Perform a thorough ‘tea’ run
Ah, the classic tea run. Don’t we all love it when someone offers to make a brew? You can be that hero. But you can go a little step further. Find out how each person likes their drink. Take a moment to ask how the person is as you drop off the soothing beverage. You will likely return to your desk feeling refreshed and content, making you more productive too. Win-win.
3. Play the Anonymous Praise Game
This is a lovely game we play in drama workshops sometimes, and it never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces. All you need is some scrap paper and pens. Gather your team together over lunch and give a piece of paper to each person. Everyone puts their name on the top. Now pass the pieces of paper around the circle to the person on your left. Read the name at the top of your new piece of paper. Now underneath the name, write down a skill or quality that person has that you admire. Keep passing to the left and writing praise. Eventually your paper comes back around, with lots of lovely comments on it. Great boost to team morale and helps you to learn your strengths in the eyes of others.
4. Get creative with support
Sometimes your colleagues will go through periods of high pressure or stress, either personally or professionally. Stay tuned in to your colleague’s wellbeing. Find creative, fun ways to show you care. Little treasure hunts leading to their favourite food, silly limericks, a post-it telling them how much you admire them stuck to their keyboard when they’re out the room. Find fun ways to make people smile, and just pick their day up a little. Little gestures can mean a lot in hard times.
5. Add a ‘recognition’ item to staff meetings
A colleague in one of my previous workplaces suggested this, and I thought it was a lovely idea. Have a running item on the agenda to spend 5 minutes recognising each other’s good work. Leave the floor open for people to share their praise and respect for others. It’s a fab way to get closer to your team and lighten up a meeting.
“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” – Whoopi Goldberg
And here’s one last thought. Practising kind acts makes us happier and healthier. So that’s why it’s important to accept kindness from others too. If someone lends you a quid for that chocolate bar you’re craving, or offers to look over your report when your eyes have turned to jelly, accept it. We can feel we need to do everything ourselves, or don’t want to ‘put people out’. But if someone has freely offered to help you, the best thing to do is to thank them graciously and accept their kindness. It’s doing them good too, and you can return the favour sometime.
I hope these 5 steps have been useful to you. If you’d like to learn more about our team building and mindful skills workshops, please visit our Training and Events page.