This year, World Kindness Day is Tuesday, November 13. I hope you’re not waiting until that day to be kind to others . People need kindness every day – especially in our highly polarized societies.

Being kind brings many scientifically-proven benefits. For example, committing acts of kindness – even observing acts of kindness – creates emotional warmth. That warmth produces the hormone oxytocin in our brain and throughout our bodies. Oxytocin helps expand our blood vessels which, in turn, reduces our blood pressure.

Oxytocin has also been shown to reduce levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. That helps slow the aging process.

So, why aren’t we more kind to ourselves and to others? I believe it is because we’ve been trained – by parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, etc., to be critical – to withhold approval and validation. We humans are much more apt to point out where others fall short than to celebrate contributions and accomplishments.

The good news is that we are trainable! Dr. Richard Davidson found that “people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’” and respond kindly to others.

Now, you know as well as I do that in our workplaces, expressing thanks and being kind is not the norm. In fact, TinyPulse found that 77% of employees do not feel strongly valued at work.

We have to change what we pay attention to – and we have to turn down the frequency of our critical observations.

In today’s three-minute episode of my Culture Leadership Charge video series, I describe how you can change the dynamics in your workplace by being kind and thanking people for their efforts and contributions every day.

My Culture Leadership Charge series features short (two-to-three-minute) videos that describe proven culture leadership and servant leadership practices that boost engagement, service, and results across your work teams, departments, regions, and even your entire company.

Each episode’s “charge” is a challenge for everyone in your organization – not just leaders – to refine their behaviors and ensure everyone is treated respectfully at all times.

You’ll find my Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please subscribe!

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Photo © Adobe Stock – Kar Tr. All rights reserved.

Do your bosses frequently praise and encourage team members – and you – for aligned efforts as well as accomplishments? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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  1. Good leadership lesson and well researched that not only benefits kindness recipient but also the provider.

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