While it sounds like a hashtag that can be thrown around, the simple beauty of kindness stands out in a world where we’re often faced with the depressing reality of online bullying, less human interaction and faces buried in screens. Simple kindness is increasingly valued and appreciated, often coming as a surprise instead of something that is to be expected of us. And when we value and appreciate kindness, it naturally breeds even more kindness. And kind human interaction is great for mental health. A kinder workplace makes for a happier, healthier workplace.
So, here at GPA we are throwing down the kindness gauntlet in the form of a challenge to each of you; plant small seeds of kindness in the world around you. During this coming week, how many kind acts are you able to perform? Let’s be fearless and embark on a few together. Here are some simple suggestions:
1. Smile at a stranger on the street. Bravely make eye contact and offer up a smile. You don’t know people’s stories, and this may be the catalyst that starts positive change surrounding their whole day.
2. Open the door for someone. Whether you know them or not, let them go first. Showing each other patience and respect will breed that behavior in others.
3. Let others enter or exit the elevator first. We promise that you won’t be any later, and it’s going to make you feel great.
4. Let someone in when vying for a position in traffic. Especially here in Southern California, it gets so frustrating to squeeze in when changing lanes amidst busy traffic. Instead of inching ahead, help with the merging process and everyone will speed up together.
5. Ask a new employee to lunch or coffee. Make a new connection, ask them questions about themselves and take time to genuinely listen. You never know what someone new has to offer, or what you might have in common.
6. Leave a simple love note for a family member. Appreciation goes a long way, and it’s often at home where we take each other for granted. Give the gift of thanks and leave a quick sticky-note on the bathroom mirror to make someone’s day.
7. Notice something that a coworker did and take time to compliment and thank them. Maybe they cleaned up after someone else, maybe they killed it in a meeting, or maybe they’re just doing their job on a regular day. Think about the actions of others and take a moment to offer up a genuine compliment to lift their spirits. Positive breeds positive.
8. Bring some fruit, muffins or a special type of coffee creamer to your next morning staff meeting. Mix things up and have a little fun with each other. Small, thoughtful gestures injected into the day make for a happier, healthier workplace.
9. Bring a flower or plant from your garden to a friend to brighten their desk and their day. Have an old jar and some scissors? Clip off a few branches, tie some twine around it and viola; instant cheer. Bring one for yourself, too! Having a plant on your desk has been shown to reduce stress and improve office air quality!
10. Leave a thank you note and a box of cookies for the night custodian who cleans the office. It’s often a thankless job that doesn’t pay well. Make them love their job, even just for one day, by leaving a kind note or gift of thanks.
11. Leave a bottle of water or healthy snack for the UPS or FedEx delivery person at the reception desk with a note of thanks. Our relationships with each other are built upon numerous small actions. It takes courage to be kind to a stranger. Let’s cause a chain reaction that will spread kindness to others.
Spreading kindness keeps the serotonin flowing, improving your overall health. Strong minds make for stronger bodies, and stronger bodies typically mean lower health insurance premiums! Prevention is the best medicine.
If you were able to perform some of the acts above, we want to hear from you. How did they react to your kindness? Leave your experiences in the comments below or tag us on social media @garnettpowers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIN.
Have a great week, everyone!