Try a Little Tenderness

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    This week: Why rereading might be just as good as reading, why kindness makes business sense, what Gen Z can teach us about stress.

    The Case for Kindness

    This week is Thanksgiving week here in the US. As someone who moved to the States over 20 years ago, it’s definitely my favourite new(ish) tradition, as I see an entire country slow down just a little to pause, reflect and enjoy each other’s company (before we get back to buying things we don’t need).

    As I write this, Thanksgiving is still to come, but on Nov 13th we just passed another day I would argue is significant – World Kindness Day.

    Kindness and niceness are often conflated with each other but true kindness goes beyond being nice to include empathy, understanding, and concern for others. You might think that only collective cultures value kindness, but according to The Human Empathy Project, all societies exhibit kindness. The difference is in how we show kindness and where we direct it.

    Hopefully, it’s self-evident that kindness is generally a good thing, but kindness also makes a lot of business sense. This excellent guide from HackingHR points out the benefits that individuals, teams and organizations get from cultivating a culture of kindness. As the guide shows, organizations that build and maintain a kind culture typically see reduced turnover with more productive teams that collaborate better. Not only that, but employees in kind cultures typically become fierce advocates for their organizations, and those organizations often inspire greater customer loyalty. In other words, it pays to be kind.

    But as smart as kindness is, there are challenges. The need for kindness is probably increasing as our organizations become more distributed and in some cases employees grow apart. But in these distributed organizations, we tend to miss natural cues for us to exhibit kindness. In the old workplace, many acts of kindness were spontaneous as employees see a human need and step in to help. Today, we may not even see the need.

    None of this means we are doomed, but it does mean that as individuals, teams and organizations, we need to make more of an effort to check in on our colleagues and be ready to step in with an act of kindness, even if it takes more of an effort. The HackingHR guide includes specific ways to “operationalize kindness”. It’s worth paying attention to.


    The New Kids on the Block

    If you’ve worked with us at BillionMinds, you’ve probably met one of our top performers Gigi Goebel. As well as being a great employee, Gigi gives us huge insight into the world of being a Gen Z employee, a generation that has had its educational and work experience as disrupted as any in recent history. A few weeks back Gigi shared her view of work stress in a great article called #Stress is Trending. Whether you are part of Gen Z yourself or would like to understand the next generation of leaders better, it’s well worth a read.

    What’s Old is New

    Video Length: 2 minutes 2 seconds

    Do you have old books or movies that you love to go back to? With so many new things to read, watch and listen to (including of course this newsletter) it might seem a bit of a guilty pleasure to return to old favorites. But it turns out that rereading can be just as or even more beneficial than reading something for the first time.

    Here’s my animated twin to explain more:

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