By Stanley Arumugam
A little kindness goes a long way. I remember my first job as an intern psychologist at Spoornet, a very Afrikaans organisation at that time. I was anxious, being in a new space in so many ways. My colleagues mostly White Afrikaans, at all levels were kind in welcoming me, helping me to be successful at my job and we continue to be friends over the years.
Some organisations are not wired in that way. They believe that ‘tough is best’; the workplace is harsh and survival of the fittest is better in the long term. Yet we know too well how the resulting ‘macho’, patriarchal leadership style (in both men and women)causes comes at a high cost of toxic organisations.
We don’t need fancy engagement strategies. Start with the basics of ubuntu, of common humanity. Be kind to one another. Kindness is expressed in respect and honouring the dignity of another. The rest will follow. St Paul in the Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that Love is kind. William James put it clearly, “Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
This week, where might you find opportunities to be kind?