MY WEEKLY LO-DOWN: YOU’LL NEVER REGRET BEING TOO KIND
With the holidays coming up I thought this week’s Lo-Down topic was especially fitting. The holidays are always an amazing time of year but it can also be a difficult time for some.
A motto I live my life by is to not judge someone until you understand his or her background. Before you make a nasty comment about someone’s sweater, maybe if you knew that she’s struggling financially and cannot afford new clothes it would stop you from making that comment. Or that your friend wasn’t overly happy at your birthday party because he just found out his Dad was diagnosed with cancer. There’s a LOT we don’t know that may be going on behind the scenes with friends, employees, and colleagues so I am a believer of searching deep to find the good and being nice to all.
But, on the subject of being nice to all, when it comes to management this isn’t always looked highly upon. As a person in a management role you’re often pressured to be in control and often that roots from instilling fear or being hard on people to demand the respect you think you deserve. Recently I was in a situation where I had to make the choice between being harsh or being accommodating to someone’s request regarding their personal life. I was fortunate enough to know a bit about the situation, but naturally I didn’t know all of the details. As a result I made a decision to be flexible and I am so happy that I did. You can’t always understand how someone is feeling but you can empathize with what they are going through. You may not ever really know the background of a situation or what is going on but you can least try to be supportive and kind. In addition, as a leader, it’s important to understand that there’s more to a person’s life than work and you’ll never regret being too kind and doing the right thing. In my opinion, showing kindness when necessary is the mark of a truly good leader, more than anything else.
Last night I expereinced an employee appreciating this type of leadership. I asked the woman who was checking me out at Trader Joe’s if she enjoyed working there and she said “yes, they understand that life happens.” She explained how her supervisor knows that she is a mother of five young children, realizes that her kids are her priority, and tries to accomodate her whenever possible. We ended the conversation with her telling me “treat your employees good and they’ll work good for you.” This is a prime example of how being kind can ultimately create a stronger company, relationship, etc.
With this said, whether you are at work or with friends, have fun celebrating the holidays and remember to be there for those who may need you even more during this upcoming week. You’ll never regret being too kind too someone, and that person will not blame you for doing so.