Lead with Kindness

Happy World Kindness Day!  You may not have known that such a designated day even existed, but, hooray! Here it is!  In fact, I started celebrating this special day in 2018 when, with my clients at American Public Square, I had the privilege to start a new company, KC Common Good, which is focused on giving everyone in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area access to hope and opportunities while addressing the root causes of violence.  My thought at the time was that if we could infuse the world with a little more kindness and a little less hatred, the community would thrive.  I still believe that to be true.

Then, my dear friend and one of the kindest people I know, Dr. Michelle Robin, launched her 2020 31-Day Kindness Campaign.  Every day since mid-October, she has delivered information, insights and ideas for engaging in acts of kindness directly to my email inbox.  It’s been inspiring, humbling and has motivated me to double down on kindness. Will you join me?

I find that when we lead with kindness, everything feels better.  Our anxiety is diminished, our mental state is more positive and optimistic, we become more capable, efficient and effective.  Borrowing from Dr. Michelle’s wisdom, consider these ways to express kindness:

  • Be Kind to Yourself.  We are often toughest on ourselves.  And, in order to be truly kind to others, we must begin with ourselves.  Today, show yourself a little love.  Allow yourself to take a walk or even drive by a beautiful place in your city and just take it in for a few minutes.  Make yourself a 10-song playlist that makes you happy – then dance!  Eat lunch at a park or in a quiet space.  Start a movie or series that has been on your watchlist and veg out for the evening.

  • Be Kind to Others.  When we are kind to others, not only does it make the recipient feel great, it will make us feel great, too!  For example, have a mentee who is rockin’ it?  Send her a text message with a simple, “I’m proud of you.”  Know of a friend going through a tough time?  Send him a card that says, “I want to help you. Please let me know how I can.”  Want to make someone’s day?  Send flowers – could be real or even virtual!  Eager to spread a little random joy?  Smile at a stranger.    

  • Allow Others to Be Kind to You.  Your ability to convey kindness is in your control; so, too, is your willingness to welcome others in – others who want to shower you with kindness.  Allow them to be!  Ask for help.  Take the compliment.  Say, “yes,” when someone offers to do something special for you.  This virtuous cycle is perpetual and will help you and others to be kinder in all situations. 

As the Dalai Lama says, “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”  Happy Networking!

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