The Simple Power of Communicating with Kindness

The Simple Power of Communicating with Kindness


There are few things more important to happiness.

Kindness to others brings happiness.

Kindness to ourselves most definitely is important for happiness.

Although this article about kindness is partly centred within a business context, its messages are, I believe, relevant for all of us …

via the Harvard Business Review by Sally Susman

Summary: In today’s world a host of issues are eating away at our connections with each other: Lack of focus, high-speed interactions, political polarization seeping into professional interactions, lack of trust. It’s easy to let daily civilities go by the wayside — or to approach difficult conversations with anger and ferocity — but, the author tells us, her experience as a corporate communications executive points to the benefits for leaders who double down on kindness instead. She outlines three tactics that work: Breaking down defensiveness with graciousness, giving credit, and making space.

I believe that in every interpersonal communication, leaders should err on the side of kindness. This pronouncement is seemingly simple but it takes courage to live — especially now.

We live in a world in which a host of issues are eating away at our connections with each other. Take lack of focus: When was the last time you had a conversation without one of the people involved checking their phone or multitasking? Or speed: We run from one thing to the next without reflecting on the human implications of what we just did.

But the challenge becomes harder when you consider that people may not want to be kind. Of those who felt strongly about a particular social or political issue, only 30% of people said they would help someone who held a different point of view on the latest Edelman Trust Barometer survey. As a result of political polarization, everything is becoming a political statement (think about masking coming out of the pandemic). Perhaps as a result of these factors, common incivility is rampant in the workplace.

From my four decades of working in government, business, and politics — in communications at the highest corporate levels, currently as executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at Pfizer — I’ve found that great leadership is all about connecting with people by making them feel seen and heard. That means standing against all of these trends and impulses and instead practicing what I call “gracious communication.”

… keep reading the full & original article HERE