Stories about random acts of kindness all have something in common: people demonstrate kindness, with no expectation of anything in return. These inspiring stories capture our interest and give us hope. Many of them go viral:
– A restaurant owner offered a fresh, free meal to an unknown homeless person
– Thousands of people donated to help a man who walked 21 miles to and from work each day
– The owner of a New York dry cleaner helped out-of-work customers by cleaning their interview attire, free of charge
There’s no reason random acts of kindness should be limited to the “outside world” or to strangers. In the midst of the holiday season, I challenge you to surprise, delight, and inspire your colleagues with random acts of kindness.
These acts don’t have to require a huge effort, or cost a lot of money, if any at all. They often don’t require a lot of time either. All it takes is one small gesture to brighten someone’s day.
Let this list serve as a starting place for your RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS:
R: Recognize when someone is having a bad day; find out what you can do to help.
A: Ask a coworker a thoughtful question, then listen (really listen!) to the response.
N: Nix gossip when you hear it.
D: Drop off a delicious snack at someone’s desk.
O: Offer to help with a task a coworker doesn’t enjoy.
M: Make time to connect with a former colleague.
A: Acknowledge another person’s talent.
C: Cancel a meeting and let your team leave an hour early.
T: Take time to walk around the block with a coworker.
S: Stop to have a meaningful conversation in the hallway.
O: Open the door for those behind you.
F: Fill the candy jar on someone else’s desk.
K: Keep a file of inspiring quotes; send one via email to boost someone’s day.
I: Invite a new person to join you for lunch.
N: Notice a coworker’s effort on a project and compliment them.
D: Deliver a handwritten thank you note.
N: Nab the bill at a restaurant and buy someone a free meal.
E: Empty the dishwasher in the break room.
S: Set up a coffee break with someone from another team.
S: Share unsolicited, positive feedback about an employee with his or her manager.
These or other random acts of kindness may or may not make the front page of a newspaper. But this we know for sure: incorporate random acts of kindness into your daily work routine and you’ll find the receivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from your thoughtfulness—you will, too.
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