Kindness Pays Dividends
A study put forth in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that kindness is contagious. People naturally pay it forward and reflect back kindness to those who initiate it. Kindness creates an atmosphere of generosity that can be mutually beneficial. Within the context of business, this is a powerful concept.
Kindness provides an advantage
Kindness inspires both parties to give and receive in new ways and adds dimension to an otherwise sterile relationship. The tenor of a conversation changes when an unsolicited kindness is offered freely; participants on both sides of the transaction may let down their guard, talk more openly and see the giver in a better light. These factors are a recipe for a successful business relationship that, once forged, may not be as easily broken by a competitor who is at a distinct disadvantage on this interpersonal level.
Kindness is a multiplier
Additionally, a study published by the National Institutes for Health found that those who extend kindness to others become happier themselves as a result. Kindness then is a multiplier whereby we give and receive simultaneously. Within the context of business this translates into being a more balanced, pleasant and perhaps more motivated worker, which certainly points to potential for increased earnings and advancement
Kindness is transparent
Add to that the fact that "kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." This Mark Twain truism is especially valuable in business where verbal, non-verbal and cross-cultural misunderstandings are plentiful and costly. Kindness is transparent and universally understood. In fact, kindness is one cross-cultural tool that is infused into everyday business transactions in China, Japan and throughout the region dating back centuries as an essential foundation for building any business relationship.
Consider kindness as a strategic approach to securing and increasing your place in business while simultaneously contributing to the overall well-being of your community of clients.
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Dr. Kristin Cardinale is the author of The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life. She is a serial entrepreneur, seminar speaker, career coach and columnist. Connect with her online at www.kristincardinale.com or follow her on Twitter at @WorkOnPurpose.