[Episode 11] A-Z of Cultural Impact: K for Kindness
In a world where competitiveness and hard skills often take priority, kindness is sometimes overlooked. It's seen as a weakness that doesn't align with the toughness needed in the corporate realm. This misunderstanding undervalues kindness in professional settings, yet it's crucial for shaping positive cultural impacts, and not a display of weakness.
Why Kindness Matters
Amidst anger and tension, kindness acts as a remedy, balancing negativity. When workplaces embrace kindness, it nurtures psychological safety within teams, allowing individuals to express themselves without fear.
Kindness is actually a robust skill vital for a thriving work environment.
The idea that competence requires harshness is debunked by the relationship between kindness and competencies. Acts of kindness push individuals out of comfort zones, prioritising understanding and addressing others' needs. Traits like genuine listening and compassion are strengths that enhance teamwork and communication in a team.
The Power of Kindness
Kindness holds immense power when brought into a team, positively impacting dynamics and company culture. It's not just a soft skill; it's a transformative energy influencing interactions and problem-solving approaches. By focusing on others' needs, individuals navigate challenges more constructively.
In the realm of intercultural work, nurturing kindness creates a sense of value and understanding within diverse teams. It perfectly aligns with the aim of enhancing satisfaction and results in multifaceted teams.
Kindness and competencies aren't mutually exclusive; they complement each other.
By integrating both of the values in the workplace, a positive, inclusive, and productive culture could be fostered. Recognizing kindness as a hard skill and its impact on team well-being helps teams create a collaborative and fulfilling work environment.
Kindness and competencies aren't mutually exclusive; they complement each other. By integrating both of the values in the workplace, a positive, inclusive, and productive culture could be fostered.
Kindness as a Measure of Workplace Happiness
Kindness.org, a global not for profit organisation, stands firm in the belief that kindness serves as a fundamental catalyst for driving social change.
This organisation is deeply committed to leveraging scientific research and compelling storytelling to champion the significance of kindness. Central to their efforts is KindLab, a pioneering initiative aimed at developing the world's premier kindness measurement index.
In a recent collaboration, kindness.org partnered with Beekman 1802, and surveyed 1,365 employees from Ulta Beauty, Pura Vida, Nextdoor, Michigan University, and Traackr.
The study unveiled a direct correlation that:
Being kind to your boss predicts happiness in the workplace.
Kindness at work is a bigger predictor of happiness than income.
Feeling valued is one of the biggest contributors to workplace happiness.
Doing purposeful work is directly linked to levels of happiness at work.
Brent Ridge, co-founder of Beekman 1802, emphasised the significant impact of cultivating kindness at work on various facets of life. Highlighting the importance of establishing environments of kindness in workplaces, he stressed the creation of a pioneering tool to scientifically measure kindness in companies as a pivotal initial move.
The Vital Role of Kindness
In today's tumultuous landscape marked by economic uncertainty and mounting tensions, kindness stands not as a luxury but as an imperative necessity.
Harvard Business Review underscores the critical need for kindness, especially within workplaces amid high anxiety and waning morale. Amy Cuddy from Harvard Business School and her research partners found that leaders projecting warmth, even preceding the establishment of their competence, prove more effective than those emphasising toughness and skill. One pivotal factor behind this phenomenon is trust. Employees tend to place greater trust in individuals who exhibit kindness, fostering a stronger sense of trust and rapport within teams.
To foster kindness at work, especially for emerging professionals and managers, radical self-care serves as a foundational practice. Prioritising personal well-being through workload management and setting boundaries ensures a compassionate workforce.
Research has indicated that acts of altruism can significantly elevate an individual's status within a group. For instance, a study titled "Nice Guys Finish First: The Competitive Altruism Hypothesis" by Hardy and Van Vugt (2006) demonstrated this effect. Similarly, the Journal of Product Innovation Management (2009) revealed that team members exhibit higher levels of citizenship behaviour and productivity when their leaders maintain fairness in their interactions.
These findings reinforce the essential nature of kindness in navigating and thriving within the complexities of today's professional sphere.
Kindness At Cultural Impact
It goes to show that kindness is not just an act of virtue, but also a powerful catalyst in shaping the way we interact with one another on a deeper, more meaningful level.
Here at Cultural Impact, we intend to foster kindness and acts of empathy with one another to achieve better results. We understand that different dynamics of the team needs to be well understood and therefore it relates to the feeling of being valued as the outcome of the survey from kindness.org has discovered.
Promoting kindness at work is crucial for creating a psychologically safe environment. We strive for all team members to feel at ease sharing their vulnerabilities and emotions, but achieving this isn't easy. It requires specific knowledge and skills. That's why we're doubling down on efforts to educate both employers and employees, envisioning a better world through these initiatives.
Through our Team Psychology Safety Practitioner Certification program, we aim to achieve this very goal. Excitingly, we're announcing the opening of Cohort 2 sessions in March 2024. For further details about the program, feel free to reach out via email or connect with us on our LinkedIn page!
To sum it up, in a world that values toughness and rigidness, kindness stands as a symbol of compassion, driving positive cultural changes through understanding and empathy.