No doubt we will all view, like, share and comment on various social media posts this week in support of Mental Health Awareness Week, and it’s great to note that the Mental Health Foundation are focusing on the theme of 'kindness'. This is particularly relevant and poignant as we all come to terms with the impact of Covid-19 on our lives – both personally and at work.
I made an observation on this platform at the beginning of the outbreak as to how heart-warming it was to witness the community spirit everyone was adopting in adversity, and the acts of kindness that were generated from and born out of the crisis we are in. Some have likened it to a ‘war-time spirit’, and although we are not at war, we are in a humanitarian crisis that we are all striving to overcome, together.
Having reflected over the weekend (during my daily exercise) on what my contribution to this narrative could be, I questioned myself as to what ‘kindness’ means to me. I think (and hope) others would say I am a kind person, both in my personal and business life, but putting into words as to what kindness is, can be difficult and it will mean different things to different people. But in any case, I have given it a go as to a personal definition of kindness (a la Annette Thorpe!):
Kindness is giving without expecting anything in return.
Kindness is an act that makes someone smile, when they least expect it.
Kindness is having empathy along with compassion for those who may be struggling – not just with a physical ailment, but also mentally and emotionally.
Kindness is providing support, not necessarily providing material things.
Kindness is asking someone how they are, and taking time to listen (really listen) to the response.
Kindness is having a high level of emotional intelligence and using it effectively to help others.
Often, particularly in today’s business world, where everyone is striving for success (financially, materially, reputationally, and perhaps egotistically), emotional intelligence is a secondary, tertiary thought, or not thought about at all with regards to its impact or relevance. Conversely, we embrace artificial intelligence as a panacea, through sophisticated technological advancements, in the drive for success, the drive to make money, the drive for profit.
Surely, you can’t have contentment or fulfilment nor true success, unless you have the emotional intelligence to engage in kindness with and towards those around you - your employees, your peers, your clients, in fact everybody you come into contact with.
My personal definitions of kindness stated here, are engendered to provide the emotional intelligence to lead, empower and encourage my team at G2 Legal to develop a strong awareness of our mental health and well-being. We hope to pass on our infectious positivity and support when we engage with you.
Be kind. It will make you feel good.