Is Kindness Under-Rated at Work?

Posted on June 18th, 2014 by - 5 comments

cat in hand by Sarah Haj-Hassan

One of the qualities I  value most in people is kindness; they could be brilliant at what they do, at the top of their field, earning a fortune, but if they are carelessly unkind they cut no ice with me.

In my experience kindness is somewhat under rated in the world of work. It rarely features on any job description and people are not usually praised at annual review for being kind. It probably comes under the heading of ‘soft skill’ that businesses tend to think of as an optional extra.

Yet kindness adds so much and its absence takes so much away. It is so much more than the sum of its parts, always.

An encounter with someone who has been kind can leave you with a smile on your face all day, pick you up when you feel low, help you learn something you were finding tricky, and generally leave you feeling better than before. The kindness of strangers has even saved lives, witness the recent story about a young man who was attempting to kill himself and a kind stranger talked him out of it. The distressed young man wanted to find the stranger who had saved his life and eventually did so. Details here. It’s a ‘warm glow’ story.

I am still basking in the warm glow of hearing of a kindness done by some council refuse collectors. It has elevated those workers in my estimation although they have no idea that I know what they’ve done, and didn’t do it for any recognition.

Here’s the story:

We have a lovely friend, a young man who has Downs Syndrome. He is a delight and unselfconsciously free with his love and hugs, making even a simple task like hanging washing on the line an unexpected delight as he calls his greeting out over the fence.

He is always keen to help others and likes to gather all the bins in one place to help out the refuse collectors (we are in a small street). Over time the refuse collectors have recognised what he’s doing and a few weeks ago gave him a special pair of protective gloves to wear, and told him he is their ‘special bin man’ for our road and a big help to them. Actually, in truth he may even slow them a down little and I’m sure their job descriptions don’t allow for this. Few people will know they have done it. It was pure, unadulterated kindness. My friend is completely ‘made up’ and I swear he grows an inch or two taller every Monday morning. It was the best of kindnesses, and it warms the cockles of my heart.

So next time you feel a bit low yourself, do a kindness and spread it around. The world will look a bit better for all.

P.S. RenewYou is my one day personal development for programme for women, licensed to excellent trainers across the world. Check out your nearest one and invest in yourself this summer.

Photo Credit: Sarah Haj-Hassan

Dreams Can Come True!

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by - 0 comments

We’ve been busy getting ready for our London Licensing course for the last few weeks.  It feels like quite a milestone. In February 2013 there was just one RenewYou specialist. Me. Last year I did something I’d thought about for years but for one reason and another I hadn’t done anything about it. Which meant my dream stayed a dream, as dreams do until you take your courage in your hands and actually do something. Of course I was a

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Women at War

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by - 0 comments

I am glad that we are honouring the men of World War Two; I find it moving and poignant. However, it’s good to remember the contribution of women too, as in this picture of women working behind the scenes at Bletchley Park. RenewYou is my one day personal development programme for women, licensed to excellent trainers across the world. Check out your nearest one.

Inspirational Woman – Shona Easton

Posted on June 11th, 2014 by - 1 comment

Shona Easton is a bag lady, in the nicest possible way. She’s a bag designer. If you’ve ever wondered how you become a bag designer we’re about to find out. Shona has been running her own business since 1996 and her own designer label launched in 2002. Jane: Shona, do share, how does one become a bag designer? Did you leave education with the idea of designing bags? Can you do a course in bag design? Shona: Not a course

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Do You Use Your Vote?

Posted on June 9th, 2014 by - 2 comments

Above, Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police as she protests at women not having the vote. This is why I have voted in every single election I have ever had the right to. Always vote, it matters. P.S. RenewYou is my one day personal development for programme for women, licensed to excellent trainers across the world. Check out your nearest one.

Dads Doing Housework Has Positive Effect on Daughters’ Career Ambitions

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by - 2 comments

Just spotted this from the Association for Psychological Science. In brief, they have carried out some research that says if Dads get very involved in housework and chores within the home, they are more likely to have daughters who will look outside traditional careers for women and go high flying. Isn’t that brilliant news! Presumably most men who defy the statistical norm are men who are pro gender equality anyway so I hope that hasn’t skewed the research. But what

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