Today is world kindness day.  This day is celebrated as it is the anniversary of the opening day of the first World Kindness Movement ® conference, held in Tokyo in 1998.

The official purpose of World Kindness Day is to “look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world” (for more information visit the official website)world-kindness-day

Isn’t it a shame that we have to have a day dedicated to kindness, in a world where we are all rushing from one thing to another.  It is easy to forget the simple things that make for a happy workplace.  One of these things is the simple act of kindness to others.

Aesop once famously said:

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted”. 

Think about those nine words.  It is such a simple statement – not just the number of words but also the truth of those words.

When we show kindness to others, we invariably receive a ‘thank you’ in return.  The impact on our mood in giving the gift of kindness, and receiving gratitude, is immeasurable, although scientists and psychologists are doing their best to measure it.  Recent studies have shown that kindness is contagious – and this Huffington post article explains a little about that.   Plus it has a bonus scene from my all-time favourite Christmas movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

So if kindness is contagious, imagine if all people in the office decided to practice a random act of kindness for a colleague every single day – what an amazing workplace that would be.

There are many ways you can practice kindness to your colleagues, and not all of them take time or effort.  The simple act of holding the lift as the doors are closing, for someone rushing to catch it, is an act of kindness.  As is opening the door for someone carrying a heap of heavy files.

I asked some of my colleagues to tell me their favourite way of showing kindness to others.  I can’t publish all of them as this blog post would be too long so here is a selection:

Sherri Hodson  – Chocolate (yum)

Carla Thomas – By remembering what they like and showing an interest in their interests.

Kara Plummer – Chocolate (double yum)

Ashton Bradley – Asking how people are, holding open doors, leaving communal areas tidy & smiling.

Shae Sivyer – Smiling, compassion & showing them you care.

Caitlin Chapman – By always greeting and saying goodbye to each colleague genuinely and instigating a conversation on how the person’s day is or how their night was.

Davina Wenzlick – A smile and a word of kindness.

Nelly Cham – Going the extra mile for a colleague

Paul Turk – Make them a cup of tea (all cups of tea taste better when made by someone else! – ed)

Shonnea Nicol – Always treat people the way you want to be treated.

Caitlin Grimmer – Giving compliments & congratulating on good things happening

Clare Hammond – always smiling and saying hello

Karen Waldock – Do unto others as you would like them to do  to you.

How are you going to show your colleagues kindness today?