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Should We Have to Be Reminded About Kindness?

While waiting on the line (telephone line) to speak to the audiologist, there were 3 “Messages on hold” that gave you something to think about. It was thought number 3 that really caught my attention.

  1. “Welcome to [company name] your call is important to us, so please wait.” Nice to be acknowledged.

  2. “Your call maybe monitored for feedback and training purposes.” Does someone really review the daily phone calls of an employee and suggest better phone technique? If they do, then this is a great example of action feedback. But I doubt it.

  3. “Please be kind when speaking with the consultant.” Is this suggestion to quell the emotions of the angry client? Is it to remind us that no problem is solved by “unkindness” and kindness gets you closer to a better outcome?

It got me thinking of how far we have come as a society that we need to shine the light on an innate trait of every human when interacting with another human being. Why do we need to be kind? Doesn’t everyone know that kindness is a two-way street to a solution where “unkindness” is a one-way street to frustration.

Scientists James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis have scientifically proven that if you do something nice for someone, they will do something nice for four people, and each of them will do something nice for four other people, and so on. So rather than just the supplier being kind during the conversation, it is up to the customer to be part of the story as well.

A quick search on Google for “Kindness signs” has a plethora of commercial signs ready for any organisation stating how to behave when conversing with staff, aka HUMANS.

In leadership and culture building, the onus is on the leaders to model kindness to staff using their listening and acknowledgement skills. However, as the commercial world seems to suggest, staff/employees also need to show up to any interaction with kindness as a base point rather than “nice to have.” In this case kindness is like the icing on grandmas badly baked chocolate cake. It helps sweeten an uncomfortable sensation.

We all fear the “difficult” conversation. But if both parties can stand in a space of kindness, then the conversation changes from difficult to appreciative. Appreciative because we feel better with a solution.

If we all put kindness into our “show up” attitude, then we can rid the world of reminders during “messages on hold”. Maybe they could change the message to, “The world loves kind people. We know you are kind, so we will love you.”

Are you using kindness as a base line when you show up?


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