Never underestimate the power of kindness.
There is a school of thought in the business world that says, in order to succeed in business, you shouldn’t care about anyone but yourself. “Numero Uno” comes first and everyone else is in the way. And you have to do whatever it takes to get to the top—to be the best. That means anything goes. You can be a “shark” with questionable ethics and make cold-hearted decisions that rip off your peers. Be cutthroat and uncaring about anyone else because, at the end of the day, you’re the only one you can trust. Many businesspeople believe this is the way to reach the top and get what you want, but we say that’s a lonely way to live.
Contrary to popular belief, kindness can be your greatest ally in business. You’ve probably heard of the golden rule that says do to others what you would want them to do to you. This doesn’t just work when applied to a kindergarten class—this is an underestimated, powerful rule for life. Conducting business like a “shark” can unfortunately sever relationships in the workplace, where positive ties and networking connections are needed most.
Author Linda Kaplan Thaler argues in her national bestseller The Power of Nice that companies with a reputation for fair play create the kind of business relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities. Using the power of nice, your organization can experience happier employees generating higher productivity and stronger interpersonal connections built on foundations of kindness, authenticity, and trust.
It’s time to give nice a try. Despite what your boss would say and in spite of the client that drives you crazy—demonstrate the power of kindness in your workplace and see just how far it can take you.