To write this article I played the word association game with the word “Kindness” in a business connotation with 10 people in the company. These were the words that I heard ‘weakness’, ‘forgiving mistakes’, ‘someone we can walk over’, ‘impractical in today’s environment’, ‘for the losers’, ‘does not fit into today’s business environment’.
Are they right? Has the word kindness become a weakness in today’s business environment? I completely disagree with them. Let me tell you why.
Now let us look at this from my perspective. I have a fairly simple top down planned approach to work. I look at the company goals for the year and quarter and plan the work for what we need to do. I am almost religious about managing task lists with due dates, owners, and a clear articulation of the task. The due dates to most parts come from the people that commit to the due date. In the last one and half year at Core I have seen that 8 out of 10 times people don’t deliver to the promise that they themselves. Is this being kind? I think not.
I can hear cry’s of exasperation. “What on earth are you talking about. This is absurd! This has nothing to do with kindness”.
Let me tell you why it is. The basic premise of kindness is that it is a charitable contributions towards others and a knightly virtue. If this is right then, in business we have come to work to help the company do better. The only way to do this is to make sure that we value our words and commitments. This is by far the biggest problem that most of us face today. Nobody is kind to their own words and to their fellow employees. If we have any hope of becoming a great company we have to start by being kind. Kind to the promises that we have made to others. In case you are late or miss out on any promise, please make sure that you own up. Then go and fulfill your promise. Now, that is kindness.
Oh, yes! Then there is this one other thing that is a real problem at almost every company in the world. Don’t let yourself get frustrated not communicate with others and then feel nobody is helping you. This is neither kind or any knightly virtue at all. Just talk to people with a view to solve problems . In emails, in conversations, say the word “please” and “thank you”. And genuinely mean it. Smile when you are talking. Then see the difference. You will be pleasantly surprised.
In conclusion, we have to make kindness a way of life at VA. Kindness is a knightly virtue where you care about others. Let us practice kindness in our daily life by,
- Making sure that we honor our word and promise.
- Don’t hide behind processes. Talk to people with a view to solve the problem. Use 1-1s and huddles as a way to solve problems.
- Make sure that you smile, say thanks and please. And really mean it. It will come a long way in helping us become a happier and productive organization.
Let us make kindness a VA way of life.
About Vantage Agora
Vantage Agora (VA) is a global provider of back-office solutions, custom IT services and consulting services for companies in the insurance, finance, and healthcare sectors. As a SAS70 Type II audited company, Vantage Agora utilizes advanced data processing and quality control systems on a secured network to ensure efficient, comprehensive management of back-office functions such as payroll, accounting, financial and administrative tasks. Founded in 2004, Vantage Agora has offices in Cleveland and Dallas.