How to Be Kind

Kindness means to be helpful. What better mindset could a business adopt?

Many people—and leaders—don't understand what kindness means in a business setting. 

It means to cultivate a mindset of helping others. When we talk about kindness, we mean to cultivate such a mindset across your organization and within your own career.

Here are dozens of ways to get started. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list; if you set your mind to it, you can come up with many other possibilities.

1. Anytime you interact with another person, the first three words in your head should be: help this person.

2. If a person is too selfish, nasty or scary for you to help… at the very least do your best not to hurt them.

3. When you help another, you are demonstrating the kind of person you are, and you are creating the kind of world in which you want to live.

4. Day after day, be a little bit kinder and a tad wiser than you were the day before.

5. Always be yourself, unless you are a self-absorbed and self-centered person. In that case, act like someone else for a change.

6. Be as kind to others as you are to a puppy, and as respectful as you are to your boss.

7. If you can read and write, you can help someone land a job and a measure of self-sufficiency.

8. Don’t teach a starving person how to fish. First, give them a fish. Teach them how to fish when the pressure to eat is gone.

9. When you consider whether you have yet lived up to your potential, ask whether there is more you could be doing to help others in this world. (This logic can also be applied to an organization.)

10. Draw a circle five miles in diameter around your home or office. How many people desperately need help that you have the potential to provide them?

11. If you know a colleague is under pressure to wrap up a special project, provide something that will help him or her do this.

12. Once fear takes over, you can get stuck in a very bad place. You say things that don’t make any sense, and you don’t think straight. Don’t allow fear to control you... or to chase away from kindness mindset.

13. People are at the core of all business and life. Not technology. Not financials. People.

14. How do you get a terrified person to safety? First, prove they can trust you. Then break their challenge down into small pieces, and prove they can handle it.

15. The best way to capture someone’s attention is to ask them a question they are interested in answering.

16. You can make others feel trusted, valuable and important by taking your time to listen to them and repeat accurately what you heard them say.

17. Beware of advice from – and actions by – people who are rewarded for certain outcomes.

18. Without examples, your words are little more than abstract babble & most people ignore such clutter. Tell a story!

19. The timing of your words can be more important than your words. When you choose to communicate often outweighs the words themselves.

20. It doesn’t matter if you have the best ideas in the world; if you can’t express them clearly, no one will ever understand your insights.

21. Imagine yourself near the end of your life, in a rocking chair on the porch. Ask yourself, “Will I sit in that chair and be glad that I (spent 60 hours a week in the accounting department)?

22. Don’t lecture an entry-level person on what it takes to be a leader; don’t bog your CEO down in details she doesn’t need to know.

23. The most attractive thing in the world is a human being who is completely comfortable in his or her own skin. Aim to become one of those people.

24. Be coherent. If you really want to live by the water, don’t go looking at houses that are three miles away.

25. Most people have inflated opinions of themselves. Force yourself to adopt objective metrics for assessing yourself.

26. The more you value the differences that make each of us unique, the more you will bring out the best in both yourself and others.

27. Smart people compromise – it is that simple. The more you feel it MUST be your way… the greater the odds that your way will end in tragedy.

28. Our world has become too complex for one idea or set of principles to work every time. You need blended solutions that take into account a range of diverse ideas and beliefs. Open your mind to the ideas that others have.

29. We are only human, and we make mistakes. We see the world through our own biases and preconceptions; that is not going to change. Let’s all be a bit more humble and open-minded.

30. Never stop challenging the ideas you love best, otherwise they may someday become the ideas that lead to your downfall.

31. Your environment always wins. Surround yourself with positive people and ideas.

32. It’s always sunny. The only question is how high you have to go.

33. Keep the people who don’t work from slowing down your efforts to accomplish great things.

34. If you have boundless initiative, learn to be patient. If you have infinite patience, learn to take action. You will need both.

35. Do something 21 times, and it becomes a habit. Do it 210 times, and you become “lucky” to be so successful, healthy and…

36. While “the price of admission” for a job that you love may make you swallow hard, dig deep and pay it.

37. Be as persistent at helping others as you are at getting what you want.

38. The first rule of understanding others is that every human being is complicated. You need to look beyond the surface.

39. Hear what people say before you translate their message into your own worldview.

40. The more you focus on the present, the more pleasure you can get from simply being calm.