Did you know that February 16th was Do a Grouch a Favor Day and February 17th was Random Acts of Kindness Day? Maybe this is a sign that we need to be more intentional about being kind to others. Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? When was the last time you engaged in a random act of kindness?
We live in a fast-paced society, filled with smart phones, computers and meetings in coffee shops. We are so consumed by technology and the next thing on our to-do list, we rarely take the time to stop and notice the world around us. As a result, many people lose sight of the value and benefits of being kind to others. Whether it’s building and nurturing client relationships or just simply being nice, it is a valuable asset to have in your repertoire.
Kindness is built on authenticity. First, it is important to recognize the difference between being kind to fulfill an ulterior motive or genuinely being authentic. Are you trying to fulfill something for someone else or fulfill something for yourself? We all do both, being nice for something we want is a normal social tactic; most of us were taught that good behavior warrants reimbursement even if that reimbursement is simply the good behavior being returned to us. But, when you are being authentically nice, there is another kind of payoff that can be even more rewarding – satisfying your moral compass. Genuine kindness is not based on our own selfish desires. It is truly taking our eyes off ourselves for a moment to focus on another person. It’s not as easy as it sounds because inherently, we are all selfish. We always consider our needs first. However, there’s a level of peace reached when you’re authentically kind that cannot be easily found any other way. Plus, Zig Ziglar said it best when he said if you help enough people get what they want, you will automatically get what you want. What a great philosophy!
Being nice isn’t always easy, especially when it seems like the other person doesn’t deserve it. But, take a moment and put yourself in their shoes. You don’t know why they are cranky or irritable. Maybe their child is sick or a loved one just died. They may be rude to you, but smile anyway. You may be the only person that was kind to them that day. On that same note, you shouldn’t overvalue people who undervalue you, but you can be kind without being perceived as a pushover.
A compliment is more than just saying something nice, it’s proof that you’re paying attention to a person. When done correctly a compliment can set the mood for an entire conversation. A good compliment is specific and genuine. When you’re seeking to compliment someone, make sure it you mean it; otherwise, you’ve tainted the experience. If you’re too generalized, your compliment can feel vague and forced. Over complimenting can give the impression that you’re trying too hard and that you’re not very genuine. Speak from the heart.
Smile and the world is more likely to smile back. People often under estimate the value of a simple smile. It can change the mood of a room. Simply practicing smiling more often is a great way to be perceived as more positive and confident. When you smile naturally others will smile back. People do a degree of mimicry to be more comfortable in their environment; use this social tick to your advantage. Doing simple things like touching your face when the person you’re talking to touches theirs and clasping your hands together as they clasp theirs, can be a wonderful tactic to make someone more comfortable. Body language plays a large role in connecting with others, but the best tool in your box is your smile. A warm, friendly smile will automatically make someone feel more comfortable around you. It can shift someone’s mood because maybe no one has smiled at them today. Think of your smile as a gift of kindness and don’t be afraid to share it with the world.
Pay it forward
Lastly, as we discuss random acts of kindness, consider paying it forward and living out the Good Samaritan example. There have been many examples in the media of people who have paid for the groceries of the person behind them in line or paid for the person behind them in the drive through while getting something to eat. You never know. That person might be down to their last $5 that week and your random act of kindness was a true blessing for them. How will you pay it forward this week?
Would you like some help developing a kindness campaign for your customers? XLDesign4U specializes in developing customized marketing plans to meet your unique needs. Consider a consultation with one of our team members to develop the most effective kindness campaign for your customers.
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