We are nearing the end of Random Acts of Kindness Week, which coincided with an especially challenging personal week for many around the U.S. I’m sure that many join me in knowing people who didn’t have power, water, or food during the horrendous storm that covered much of the country.
The whole point of performing a random act of kindness is to do something unexpected that has a positive impact on someone. Think of how good it feels when you are the recipient of such an action.
Importantly, you don’t need to wait for a disaster to express kindness. It can be an everyday occurrence.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation publishes a Kindness at Work calendar with themes that promote a kinder work culture. Today’s message is “Believe that everyone is doing their best, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations.”
This is a great message to reflect on, especially for leaders who strive for more, better, best from their people.
Many leaders have high expectations, and they sometimes become impatient because they don’t think their people are working hard enough, showing sufficient results, or doing things the way they would do them.
When you change your perspective and start with the assumption that people are doing their best, the dynamic between you and your employees will change. This will be particularly noticeable if they are used to you being critical.
When you convey that your team is doing their best, you will see a subtle shift. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t give them feedback on how to improve. Rather, you convey confidence and appreciation that they’re doing their best and offer suggestions about how they can do better.
Over time, their best will get better. And over time, even you will believe it!
No matter how you view this, when you apply this message and others like it, you start the ball rolling to improve your organizational culture. Eventually, this will result in many improvements that will please even the most scrutinizing of leaders.