Love (aka kindness) is, in my experience, mostly misunderstood. Especially in a work context. One of the first commitments I make to a new client is to be “loving and accepting”. This usually is greeted with either confusion, relief or horror. Then I go on to explain what I mean by “loving and accepting”. To me this means that whatever has happened or hasn’t happened, whatever this person is thinking (or not), feeling (or not), I intend to accept. I see two clear options: acceptance or resistance. Only through acceptance is it possible to be honest about what “is”. This, in my experience, is the path to something even better/more interesting than current reality.
I’m not perfect. This is my *intention* and if I ever catch myself not being accepting, I remind myself of my commitment.
Being loving and accepting doesn’t mean that I don’t challenge people (I really do!) or judge/assess people (I do that too, it comes with pattern recognition and critical thinking, both helpful skills). It means that I will do my part to not add shame/guilt into the mix. After all, shame and guilt aren’t known for expiditing productivity, self awareness or any other leadership objectives.
Specifically how this translates into action/behavior is in closely listening to what is happening, asking questions to better understand *what is possible*, remaining committed to finding the best path forward, being honest about what’s happening (challenges, resources, limitations…ALL of it!). I find this easiest 1:1 and most challenging in a group (unless others are also masterful at cultivating curiosity).
The resources this week are curated to remind us all some of the mechanics associated with positivity.
During a given day, to whom is it easiest to show kindness? Who do you interact with that you don’t even consciously register/see? [Is it possible to flash a smile?] Who leaves you feeling more energized? [Can you find a way to spend more time with them?]