Do you have your New Year’s resolution yet? This year I have two.
- Advance my dreams by taking advantage of opportunities that energize me.
- Make it a practice to cultivate kindness more deeply into our child care centres.
At a TedX conference in my home town I was moved by a talk on the power of kindness. I can’t shake that word—kindness—or its powerful notion. It’s akin to a spotlight that’s been turned on & pointed at situations in my life. And I notice kindness & the absence of kindness. In the void of kindness I’ve been wondering where their kind heart went. I witness daily the kindness of infants & toddlers in our childcare centres. They are innately generous, empathetic, helpful & caring. So when it fades—and it can & often does—why does kindness disappear?
What seems the common theme is a replacement of kindness with fear & insecurity. It takes a vulnerable courage to be kind.
I feel compelled to write about kindness as it has crept into my thoughts very much recently. Yet as I sit down to write about something I feel so passionately about, the message is not deep & grandiose.
It’s simply “Be kind”.
The peace I feel when I dream of how our world would change if everyone practiced kindness is my seed. I am deeply motivated to put kindness as my mantra for 2016.
Five actions I intend to bring to my centers to foster a culture of kindness in the workplace
1.Tune in to staff stress. Kindness creates a peaceful, safe environment.
Understanding that sometimes staff can’t clearly identify why they are feeling burnt out, administration is committed to using various tools to uncover the root of the stresses, and involve the staff in formulating solutions.
2. Celebrate kindness. Kindness creates positive energy.
Publishing & sharing stories of kind acts, such as our senior Infant staff who organized a fundraising drive for a deserving family.
3. Connect staffers to one another. Kindness creates harmony.
Each staffer deserves to have a Mentor, Teacher, and Coach. We are growing an idea for 2016 where the staff voluntarily will be these rolls for each other.
4. Problem solve with a spirit of kindness. Kindness is the most effective negotiating tool.
Support staff through a failure to view it as a learning opportunity. The first priority is not to seek to lay blame, but rather create a solution. This reaction to failure needs to be consistent throughout the organization.
5. Set realistic & equitable goals. Kindness has long term and wide reaching effects.
Providing liberty and support for staff to set goals for themselves and their work environment. Support staff reflection on their achievements and understanding how kindness can be their legacy.
Do I want to be successful? Yes, see 2016 resolution #1 – chasing my dreams. How would I want to be remembered looking back at 2016 and beyond? She was kind. Please share your kind practices by using hashtag #kindofamovement . And join me in putting practices based in kindness into your everyday world to make the world a “kind” of place we dream it to be.