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Kindness in Organisations

Within organisations a  culture of kindness and compassion may reduce stress and absenteeism,  and enable staff to be happier, healthier, more  motivated and more  productive. Additionally: 

  • those who show and receive kindness in the workplace are often  more engaged and can experience greater job satisfaction thus reducing  levels of absenteeism or presenteeism (where staff are present but not  so productive)
  • work places supporting kindness initiatives often have more loyal  staff, which in turn can help organisations grow and reduces the amount  of time and money spent on recruitment and induction training

Within communities, we do not think negative states  such as anger, bitterness and hatred  can survive when confronted with thoughts or acts of kindness and  compassion. 

Ways to be Kind

  • Offering support; working  collaboratively with others means respecting and recognising the  experiences of others and their contributions to teams. Asking and  offering support can be a way to meet deadlines and build confidence 
  • Smiling at  colleagues means recognising and acknowledging their existence; it  means offering eye contact which makes it easier to take in information  and respond accordingly 
  • Thanking others shows  appreciation for their work and actions. it validates other people, and  helps people feel valued and that their efforts are appreciated, and 
  • Listening to  others shows others that what they are saying is important and matters.  Listening actively also helps improve communication and reduces the  chances of errors or mistakes.

It  is essential to stay and be safe, and to make good choices, but, if  someone is standing in a queue beside you for coffee or similar why not acknowledge that person’s existence? Make eye contact? Smile and say hello? And if you have any spare change think about buying their coffee, e.g. "As part of my daily act of kindness I would love to pay for your coffee". 

For  sure, reaching out to others can lead to feelings of insecurity or  anxiety but with practice it becomes easier. And who knows, although  there are "no strings" / expectations with DAKtivism, maybe your act of  kindness will have lots of great or feel-great consequences, e.g. if  they talk about it to others and so share even the concept of DAKtivism;  or if they act and "pass on" their own act of kindness in turn.  These  are all vital steps to help us get that bit closer to a kinder society.  

Good luck! And do tell us abour your DAKtivism! 

Active Listening

Active listening shows interest, respect and care in close relationships. Not being listened to or heard in contrast can be distressing and upsetting. Active listening can improve with practice and can involve some key steps: 

  • Find a comfortable setting and opportunity to have a conversation – which can mean agreeing in advance, e.g. “we need to chat about X, when would suit best”
  • Active listening means giving the other person your full attention - no scrolling. Instead, it can mean giving good eye contact, nodding, and/or asking appropriate follow up questions. It can also mean being OK with silences as sometimes these are needed as people gather their thoughts 
  • Do not bring the conversation back to you, and do not dismiss the feelings or experiences of the other e.g. something "small" to you can mean the world to another.
  • Do not stress about saying the right thing
  • In fact, say little – limit any advice; and limit any sharing of your personal experiences or views. 
  •  Instead, try to hear and understand what the other is saying and feeling which can include summarising back to them what they have said, e.g. “that must have been difficult” or “you are telling me that …. “
  • Potentially take a time-out if needed to consider all the issues and also possible options going forward e.g. "I need to think about what you said, can we come back to this later"
  • Apologies can be very helpful in family or work relationships; these can include summarising the others perspective or experiences to ensure understanding and so they know they have been heard  e.g., "when I said/did X it left you feeling Y; Im really sorry; going forward I will  ..." OR "how can I ensure this does not happen again?"

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