Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I find myself reflecting on this as we continue to engage in dialogue about what makes work meaningful. It’s people who, through their interpersonal communications, cultivate cultures of continuous improvement.
How employees feel when they show up to and leave work each day strongly impacts the workplace culture. If we wake up with a sense of dread every morning or leave the office feeling mentally and physically drained, these sentiments will eventually manifest in our organization’s atmosphere. From there, our output and work will suffer.
I believe we can never place enough emphasis on the power of kindness in a workspace. We often attribute a few specific qualities to leaders in highly successful organizations. Though necessary, kindness often becomes a muscle leaders forget to flex. But its power is transformative.
Ask yourself – what’s one kindness, big or small, you’ve received from an employee, colleague or supervisor? Did it improve your workday? Did you experience a surge in motivation? Were you inspired to show kindness to others as a result? What about that experience that makes it memorable?
To create meaningful workplace cultures, let’s prioritize kindness in our interactions. Compliment a colleague’s initiative and efforts. Recognize an employee’s tech savviness. Salute a tough but practical leadership decision. Practicing kindness doesn’t eliminate problems altogether, but it strengthens teamwork in an organization. When we’ve experienced the receiving end of a kind word or gesture, we form authentic connections and, from there, build trust.
I’ll leave you with a powerful quote by another female changemaker – Mother Teresa. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.