Emotional Optimism: The Economy of Kindness
With host Claude Silver and guest Linda Cohen
Emotional Optimism podcast focuses on living life in the silver lining.
How do you create a culture of kindness in the workplace? In today’s episode, Linda Cohen talks about the power of doing intentional acts of kindness and the ripple effect that can transform your life and your business.
After her father died, Linda started a 1,000-Mitzvah (act of kindness) project in his memory. Five years later, she translated her project into how it affects businesses and organizations and how leaders can bring kindness in the workplace.
In her book, The Economy of Kindness: How Kindness Transforms Your Bottom Line, she talks about how successful organizations are thriving because they make their people feel like they are humans – not just a number, not just doing a job, and not just punching a clock.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation on the Emotional Optimism podcast:
Living an intentional life of kindness How her 1,000-mitzvah project changed her life Intentional acts of kindness Kindness in the workplace What holds people back from being kind The ripple effect of kindness The grace of receiving kindness Creating a culture of kindness
[06:41] Acts of Loving Kindness
Doing acts of kindness doesn’t have to be pre-planned. It could be whatever idea that comes up on any given day. Pick up garbage on the way to the park or help someone in the grocery store. Open the door for someone, say thank you, or write a quick text or note to someone. These acts of kindness don’t require much of our time. It costs us nothing and it pays us everything. It’s something that you do for another human being just because you took the time to put your phone down and look at another human being.
[09:14] Kindness in the Workplace
Kindness sometimes gets a “bad rap” because people call it a weakness. They think a leader who shows kindness is too vulnerable, too unguarded, and doesn’t have the authority needed to run the organization. But the opposite is true.
Especially during the pandemic, people are now talking about hiring for soft skills and training for the hard skills, because you can’t necessarily teach an employee to be a kind, giving, caring, empathetic person but you could teach them the hard skills.
[11:50] What Holds People Back from Being Kind
Three things that hold people back from being kind are stress, time, and overwhelm. Research shows that engaging in acts of kindness intentionally reduces feelings of stress and anxiety because you are now “othering” and there’s a giver’s high that comes from them.
[13:42] Three Lessons About Kindness
3 Lessons about kindness:
The size of the kindness might not matter. There is often an unexpected ripple effect. Giving and receiving kindness are different gifts.
Kindness is no longer a “nice to have” soft skill in the workplace. A kinder employee will make a better employee, a better manager and a better leader. Leaders that develop their kindness skills will excel. Organizations that cultivate intentional kindness practices as a core value will have improved employee retention and morale. They will also have an enhanced bottom line!
[19:40] Creating a Culture of Kindness
If you create a culture where people feel valued, respected, and seen, you’re creating a work environment that people want to be in. Consider hiring for soft skills to make sure the people you bring into your organization fit the kind of culture you want to create.
The Economy of Kindness by Linda Cohen