How to Get to Know your Customer
By Ann Connor
All too often, we mistake kindness with weakness—but the mistake doesn’t lie in associating kindness with weakness but instead associating kindness with “yes, and…” behaviors. You don’t have to be spineless to be kind! In fact, sometimes doing the kind thing can be the hardest thing—like telling a current employee they may not be a good fit, after all, for the company. Sure, it may not “feel” kind, but when handled thoughtfully and explained genuinely, the end result winds up being a win-win for all involved: that employee is now free to explore a more fitting career path elsewhere and your company is now open to receiving suitable talent. Here are five other fabulous results that creating a company culture of kindness can bring:
1) Listening: When you’re kind (read: polite, considerate, genuine, thoughtful, etc.) you’ll realize how much you can learn from listening to others! It’s amazing. Listening—and I mean really hearing someone else—allows you gain true understanding before jumping to conclusions or making rash decisions. That way, you get to connect with your team, employees, etc. in a much more meaningful way, by hearing their needs, goals, insights, solutions, and much, much more!
2) Curiosity: The more you listen, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more curious you become. And that curiosity can lead to some really amazing, creative solutions, developments, and progress!
3) Honor/Worthiness: With kindness, you set the tone for how the rest of your employees should interact. When you demonstrate those traits of respect, consideration, empathy, and so on, it says to your employees that not only do you honor and value their worthiness, but that they too should honor and value the worthiness of their fellow co-workers, peers, and customers.
4) Teamwork: That value and respect, which will become an integral part of the company’s atmosphere and culture, also boosts a sense of collective kindness. This collective kindness thus fosters an incredibly positive and supportive environment for exciting teamwork.
5) Openness: This type of kindness reminds us to be open—open to listening, open to remaining curious, open to recognizing others’ skills, open to collaboration. It teaches us to think outside of ourselves, which is where creativity thrives.
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