In wrapping up the National Mental Health Month in October and with World Kindness Day coming up soon (13 November), we would like to share the importance of kindness at work.
Workplace kindness is when you offer a positive attitude and goodwill towards those you work with, which can include customers, team members, co-workers, or managers. Employees that share and receive kindness in the workplace usually experience greater job satisfaction and increased engagement.
Kindness is contagious and the benefits include:
- Kindness makes us happier by raising the levels of dopamine and serotonin in our brain (‘helper’s high’)
- It helps our hearts as emotional warmth produces oxytocin which is cardio protective hormone
- The increased oxytocin from kindness also modulates fear and anxiety, improving moods and increasing empathy
- It has a positive effect on the vagus nerve which has been shown to reduce inflammation
- Kindness helps us feel connected and improves our relationships
- The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who has witnessed the act
Kindness is a mindset rather than just a set of actions, but actions are how kindness is best practised!
Let’s look at five ways kindness can easily be incorporated into your week:
Express your Appreciation
Tell someone what you appreciate about them or thank them for their work of actions.
Heartfelt appreciation helps boost the receiver’s spirit, passion, and purpose. It helps them build self-confidence and self-esteem. The simple act of thanking someone shows recognition, which can help others feel valued for their efforts.
Listen with the intention to understand, not the intention to respond. Listen without judging and without interruption or distraction. Listening is a commitment to value the thoughts, emotions, and experience of another person over your own thoughts. Listening validates the speaker and reminds them that they matter.
Collaborate with co-workers
Collaboration means you’re cooperating with others and working toward a shared goal or achievement. With collaboration, you’re better able to celebrate other people and the work they contribute to the team. Collaboration promotes teamwork and a feeling of engagement and wellbeing.
A popular concept that isn’t always easy to follow through is to treat everyone you encounter as important. Learn their names, ask after their family or understand their interests. Say hello to them when you see them.
By treating everyone with the same respect, you’ll help them feel good about themselves and it can impact on the way they treat you too.
That’s right. The simplest act of kindness is to genuinely smile at someone. Being greeted by a smiling face will often improve the mood of a person. It can show your openness to getting to know others and work alongside them each day.
These are all easy to incorporate into your week, and for most, into your day. By acting with kindness, you’ll notice the beneficial side effects of happiness, improved empathy, improved moods, and an improvement of anxiety levels.
Kindness, compassion, and a genuine interest in others are elements of enlightened leadership. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive, and healthy for everyone involved.
Need further help?
ATI-Mirage can help you create and harness a positive team culture at work, with a unique workshop that is fun, insightful and ready to action. To learn more https://www.ati-mirage.com.au/creating-a-great-workplace-culture/
Blog presented by Jo Riley | ATI-Mirage’s Lead Consultant PD & Wellness