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Kindness Is Contagious
When trying to understand human behavior (something all business people want and need to do more of), the temptation is to reduce everything down to selfish, rational transactions. I pay you ‘X’ for ‘Y’, if you’re in the market for ‘A’, I just need to offer it at price ‘B’ and then you buy. Quid pro quo etc.
But that’s only part of the story, of course. The other part is that we’re complex beings with a whole bunch of equally complex needs, not all of them purely selfish. We need to love, we need to belong, we need part of something. Sure, we’re looking for a deal, but that’s not all we’re put on this planet for. We also need to connect.
And one of the most powerful ways we have to connect with others is through acts of kindness.
We want to be kind to other people. That’s how we build relationships with them. That is what we do.
Ergo, expressing kindness is one of our most important ways of building social bonds, the latter being key to our survival. We call this “empathy”.
This being so, the question for leaders is, how do you cultivate kindness at the macro level, at the organization level? How do you created empathy at scale?