July 30, 2020

Turning Towards Kindness for Brighter Days

When turning on the TV or viewing news headlines, it’s easy to conclude that we are living through a time of divisiveness. However, just as bad behavior tends to spread, so too does good behavior. Research has shown that individuals who believe others are kinder become kinder themselves. Kindness doesn’t go unnoticed and is now understood to be contagious.

Kindness may not always be seen as a priority in the workplace or learning environment in our culture of fast-paced digital communication and high expectations, and putting compassion into practice does take time, energy and conscious effort. When people get burned out, they’re not feeling overly caring and compassionate and the pressure to be kind can be just another stressor. Kindness has to come from a place of authenticity. The good news is that the research on emotional contagion shows that people are particularly likely to catch the emotions of their leaders. We can’t order people to be kind, but leaders can certainly spark goodness.

Making kindness a priority in the workplace and learning environment will create a more inclusive, positive culture, where people feel a sense of belonging and well-being. Creating a positive, healthy culture boils down to six behaviours:

  • Caring for, being interested in and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
  • Providing support for one another when times are challenging.
  • Avoiding blame and forgiving mistakes.
  • Inspiring one another at work and in the learning environment.
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work involved.
  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust and integrity.

Kindness and generosity enable us to creatively think outside the box to make a better world, one simple act at a time. If you’re inspired, take action today to join in on the ripple effect.

The Well-being Task Force
Faculty of Medicine


Forbes: Making Kindness a Priority in the Workplace - https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2019/08/26/making-kindness-a-priority-in-the-workplace/#1964241338f4
Harvard Business Review: Making Kindness a Core Tenant of Your Company - https://hbr.org/2018/11/making-kindness-a-core-tenet-of-your-company
Stanford Business: The Psychology of Kindness in the Workplace - https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/psychology-kindness-workplace
Harvard Business Review: Proof that Positive Work Cultures are more Productive - https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive