Communicating with Kindness is a Choice Everyone Can Make

Functioning Well

Communicating with kindness allows us to accomplish many things by creating an encouraging environment.

Using kindness makes it easier to solve problems, accomplish goals, develop a plan, work as a team, manage a group of workers, successfully parent a child, facilitate intimacy with a spouse, influence another person, sell a product, woo a mate, or be happy.

As a child I was taught to be quiet and listen to people as they spoke. It was bad manners to interrupt them. I was also taught to say thanks for assistance and please when I asked someone to do something for me. It was being cordial and we were expected to treat others well even if we disagreed with them. There were many times when we were disciplined for failing to be kind to a grumpy person or showing bad manners to a sales clerk or waitress.

Good management, leadership and teaching all require good manners. The basis of good manners is kindness. Unkind people are hard to deal with and generally fail at influencing other people. There are several ways we can stop good interactions.  In my childhood it was called being rude.  I call them –

Kindness Killers

  1. Interrupt before the person is finished speaking
  2. Refuse to pay attention
  3. Respond with, “Yes, but…”
  4. Say, “We tried it back in the 90's and it didn’t work…”
  5. Look away
  6. Speak to another person (cross talk)
  7. Make a disagreeable non-verbal movement such as scowling, rolling your eyes, or waving your hand
  8. Call the person names
  9. Attack the person’s character
  10. Associate the person with a disreputable group
  11. Make a disparaging remark about the person’s looks, dress or demeanor
  12. Go off on a tangent

But being patient and listening quietly while a family member, friend, or co-worker shares will bring many benefits.  (It may not be easy, check out GREW skills for help!)