The Importance Of Being Overly Kind During COVID-19
[Aug. 6, 2020: Forbes]
Being kind is never a bad idea. But as we and our companies weather COVID-19, we have to practice radical kindness.
Everyone has been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. Neither my team nor the entrepreneurs I know have struggled with anxiety like this. My kids are worried about returning to school.
Truly, my thoughts go out to them. Although I can’t make the virus go away, I can do the next best thing: double down on kindness.
Why Kindness Is Key Right Now
As a business leader and as a human being, I believe now is the time to be overly kind. Here’s why:
These are Moments of Vulnerability
In the last two months, I’ve seen more vulnerability than I have in my entire life. I’ve seen entrepreneurs break down, employees lose their livelihoods, and friends face serious illness.
Now isn’t the time to stand on the sidelines. If you’re in a position to do so, lend a hand — not because you expect something in return, but because you know people need it.
Even simple gestures go a long way. Point people who’ve been laid off to new opportunities. Shoot a quick text to that aunt or uncle who’s sick. Offer to partner with that small business down the street that’s struggling.
Like these kind of stories? Get The Brighter Side of News' newsletter.
People Will Remember How You Treat Them
I do a lot of keynote speaking. When events were cancelled, most hosts did the right thing. A few, however, left me out in the cold.
In one case, a company didn’t even tell me the event was cancelled. They then demanded that I return initial fees — after I’d spent my own time and money preparing for the speech. They refused to even speak with me on the phone to discuss options.
Contrast that with how a staffing company that serves the real estate sector, JWilliams Staffing Solutions, treated me. The owner, JoAnne, called me weeks prior to the event. She expressed empathy for speakers in my situation, and together, we looked for ways to make up for the missed event.
Each of those experiences left a lasting impression on me. You can probably guess which one lost my respect and which one gained it.
Being Kind Helps You Grow
You should never stop working to improve yourself. Expressing kindness, especially when it’s difficult, is a great strategy.
In uncertain times like these, it’s tempting to put ourselves first. But if we stretch our limits as human beings, we learn just how intrinsically rewarding it can be to do the right thing. Think of the COVID-19 pandemic as a test: Challenge yourself to practice one more act of kindness each day. Doing so helps you approach life with a more positive outlook, which not only makes you happier but also shows others the power of helpfulness.
Being Kind Helps Your Business Grow
The goal of being kind should never be solely to make a sale. With that said, nothing reflects better on your business than kindness. People are more likely to shop and partner with a brand that they believe cares for them personally.
Think, too, about the effect on your employees. People would much prefer to work in a positive, uplifting workplace than a demeaning one. Going the extra mile to be overly kind attracts and retains top talent for your business. Don’t underestimate the cultural value of kindness.
Kindness Comes Back Around
While COVID-19 has affected my company, I have been much more fortunate than some. It might not always be that way. The future guarantees nothing, and I may not be as fortunate the next time around.
Practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Being good to others has a way of coming back around.
Again, I’m not suggesting you help others out of selfish reasons. Rather, doing what’s right in the moment will put you top of mind. When the day comes that you’re the one in need, wouldn’t you want others to extend that same helping hand?.... Read More