CREDOS: Kindness — I

A McAlpine and K Dixey

Kindness is not just the stuff of poetry and poets; it is also the stuff of sound business sense. You never know to whom you are being kind. Kindness to an unfortunate may result in, and indeed often has turned out, to be repaid 100 times. The twentieth-century French writer, André Gide, had a view of kindness, “True kindness presupposes the faculty of imagining as one’s own the suffering and joys of others.”

What Gide refers to here is, in fact, sensitivity. If you are to succeed in business, you need sensitivity, and sensitivity can be developed. In fact, “Kindness can become its own motive.” People who show kindness demonstrate strength of character; it is admired and it is contagious.

Importantly, kindness to your colleagues shows that you have confidence in your own ability, and shows that you have strength of character. Those around you will notice both of these and admire them. Strength of character and confidence, are qualifications for promotion.

Admiration is totally different from popularity in the workplace. Bosses prefer to promote those who people admire and are often suspicious of those who are merely popular. Often it is believed that there is an emotional expense in giving kindness. People often avoid giving kindness in the belief that it makes them feel emotionally drained. They are mistaken. The truth is, as we have to learn everything else, we must learn about giving kindness.