Kindness. You’ve probably thought of kindness as a key to good personal relationships. You may have even applied kindness to your daily interactions with coworkers. Have you ever thought kindness was the key to success in business?
Westminster College professor Dr. Vicki Whiting says it is. In a powerful TEDx talk at her college, she makes the case that WalMart may one day cease to exist because it lacks the kindness its founder once imbued into the organization.
She offers three key observations about kindness:
1. Kindness is powerful.
Kindness is the most powerful tool leaders have at their disposal if they desire to create the connection and commitment necessary to afford long term success. Leaders as far back as Aristotle teach us that kindness sits at the heart of meaningful relationships. It is through meaningful relationship that customers are loyal to an organization, that employees are committed to an organization’s vision, that co-workers trust one another to work productively to achieve an organization’s goals. Success is predicated on meaningful relationships, and meaningful relationships are based on the principles of kindness.
2. Kindness is more than “being nice.”
Kindness involves tough aspects including honesty and accountability, as well as softer aspects such as empathy and compassion. When we make decisions based on kind principles, when we communicate with kindness, then we connect with others such that they feel valued and respected, resulting in relationships of commitment, support, and satisfaction, all of which lead to individual and organizational success.
3. Listening is kind.
The best way to act with kindness is to be a great listener. Peter Drucker offered eight principles for successful leadership, yet he only had one specific “rule” necessary to effectively influencing the behavior of others. Drucker, along with other highly regarded thought leaders agree that listening is the key behavior that demonstrates kindness and lays the framework upon which individual success is based.
Watch the full interview with @devindthorpe here:
Devin Thorpe was a finance guy until he realized life wasn’t all about the money. As a new-media journalist and founder of the Your Mark on the World Center, Devin has established himself as a champion of social good. As a Forbes contributor, with 350 bylines and over one million unique visitors, he has become a recognized name in the social impact arena. His YouTube show, featuring over 600 celebrities, CEOs, billionaires, entrepreneurs and others who are out to change the world, has been viewed over 200,000 times.