Why being “kinder than necessary” is so important, especially right now

By Xane Richards |

August 10, 2020

Each week, during our General Scrum (a meeting where our full company gets together), a team member has the opportunity to explain one of our company values. Reshma Rao (who is the PA to our CEO, and also our HR Coordinator), recently shared the value: “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone that we come across is fighting their own battle.”
We thought that Reshma’s words were so relevant, especially during these current times, that we wanted to share them. You can read them below.
I chose this value, because during this time especially, I am connecting with it more. I haven’t had much of a physical, mental or emotional change during this pandemic, which has led me to communicate and interact with others as though they are untouched by it too.
However, after hearing from friends and family, I’ve realised there are quite a few people struggling with either loneliness, anxiety, paranoia of the future, financial difficulties, relationship difficulties and the list goes on. This applies all year round, pandemic or not!!
So what does this value actually require from me? What skills do I need to have to execute this, live and breathe it?

I would say in my experience, patience, the ability to keep my mind still, control of emotions, communication and a sense of balance.
It’s easy for most I would say to be nice, but what happens when someone isn’t doing what you’re asking for or acting and behaving in a way that you can’t understand or that you disagree with?
This is when these skills come into play. If we use the work environment for our example, when someone repeatedly doesn’t do a particular task, we can choose to get angry and speak aggressively or rudely (and please remember your reaction is a choice you make and not something that happens to you), therefore we can choose to react with both parties in mind so we create a win win situation. Stop before speaking and assess what your first thoughts are or first words that are about to come out of our mouth, seek why this person has not done the task over and over again, is there a communication breakdown, could it be from your end, if not then ask them what needs to happen and begin a conversation where they are comfortable to open up, you might find that it is actually something else going on for them that is a huge block, maybe they’re going through a divorce and struggling with this daily and you being harsh doesn’t help them or you!!

What does not being kind actually do to me and do to the other person, it’s a lose lose. We usually don’t feel great walking away from a situation like that, frustration is still present, and usually solutions are not put in place, just an exchange of harsh words or one person talking frustratedly and the other listening with resistance or feeling deflated, so there is nothing moving forward.
I’ve added balance, because it’s not about being kinder than necessary without knowing how to express that whilst being objective enough to move forward for the both of you.These are skills we need to be working on constantly as for some this isn’t instant. Shocklogic is a great place to explore and develop these as we have meditation, us actively working with these values as part of our company culture, going over these values at least once a week at the general scrum, English classes, Osteopathy for our physical well being, coaching sessions, leadership courses, self development courses and a place you can be open to ask management if there is a particular area you would like to grow and focus on whether it be in a course or a conversation.
I hope this has been clear and useful to you.