The HR Juggler

Kindness

Posted on: June 15, 2011


I have recently had the pleasure of reading my children almost all of the Roald Dahl stories, the only exceptions being The Witches (we did try but far too scary as they are only 5!) and the more autobiograpical books such as Boy and Going Solo.  I loved reading them, the children loved listening to them and we have been jointly enthralled by the wonderful and brilliant story telling of an exceptionally gifted man.
 
Some of the books such as Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach I remember reading and devouring as a child; others such as Matilda, the BFG and Danny, Champion of the World I have discovered for the first time as an adult.  I have no doubt I will read all of them to my children many more times and that when they are old enough they will continue to read and enjoy them on their own.
 
Much of the charm and brilliance of Roald Dahl’s writing is in his vivid portrayal of characters, their actions and values. More than anything else, his characters are defined by whether or not they are kind. The author explains –
I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else. If you’re kind, that’s it.
We don’t talk about kindness in leadership much. We certainly don’t talk about it in a business context. And yet, it is one of the most powerful and deep-rooted human values that there is, a true differentiator of people and a mark of authenticity. I wrote in a previous blog post about bringing your values to work and treating others as you would wish to be treated.
 
Of course we often need to make commercial decisions and the role of HR is not, nor should it be, to be everyone’s friend. But that doesn’t mean we should forget or be afraid to talk about some of our core personal values either.
 
I’d love to hear your views.

6 Responses to "Kindness"

This is a very powerful post and I agree whole heartedly! Kindness should be part of how everyone conducts themselves everyday, even more so in stressful work situations!

Thanks Beki, glad it resonated with you.

Alison, lovely, lovely post. So true, and such an underestimated value in corporate terms, but one I don’t think is forgotten by many individuals. We see it on Twitter so frequently, and I know we live it here. I read a wonderful blog yesterday about empathy, and it strikes the same chord with me. I also went to an event yesterday where a very successful businessman who earns in excess of £150k annually was mentioned. Apparently, the business tells him he needs to be more of a ‘bastard’. I love that he seems like someone who sticks to his values. Respect.

Hi Kay thanks so much for your lovely comment. Like you I have huge respect for all people who remain true to their values in a corporate world 🙂

I really like what that means about kindness being the one thing. I think people forget about Kindess and confuse it for something else.
Kindness can be veiwed as a weakness in work sometimes but although maybe a slower route I think its the better one to take to the top you wont be hated 🙂

I love that quote too – it really suprised me the first time I read it. Thanks for taking the time to comment

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