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1 min read

Be Kind

On more than one occasion recently, I have had people share a cultural observation that is disheartening, and with which I happen to agree.

In our current COVID world, people have gotten meaner.

Many people seem less tolerant, more impatient, and more combative. Whether it’s while driving, flying on a plane, or posting on social media, people’s fuses seem to be shorter. Many folks appear just plain angry much of the time.

I am not here to assign blame or cite research as to why this phenomenon may be present. Understanding sources is an important endeavor, but it’s not one I want to cover here. I simply want to ask one question:

What are you and I doing: adding to the meanness, or making the world a kinder place?

As leaders, our job, of course, is to lead. And as others have said, leadership is influence. When it comes to this topic of meanness versus kindness, how are you using your influence?

When people first see their Teamalytics 360 Profile, they are sometimes surprised that we have the Need to Nurture scale. What does that have to do with leadership behaviors? In a word, everything. The goal of nurturing behavior is to positively benefit those around us. It’s about investing in the lives of others. It’s about connecting with others in a positive way. It’s about encouraging others and building relational capacity to have healthy conflict.

It’s about not being mean.

How are you handling all the diverse opinions in conversations with your teammates? Your family? Your friends? Having a different perspective from others is not an invitation to a showdown; rather, different perspectives grow our muscles to humbly respect others and consider our own views with humility.

My wife works for an organization that provides educational tutoring and support services to children experiencing homelessness. When she left this morning to go to a local school, she was wearing a shirt with a message. As I started my workday, seeing that message was a good reminder for me, and maybe for you as well. The shirt read simply:

Be kind.