Too Busy Being NICE to be KIND?

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Kindness is really at the heart of some of the best decisions and best action I’ve taken, especially in the workplace. A lot of people confuse kindness with being nice. The difference between the two is that kindness is something that emanates from within. Nice is when you’re trying to be pleasing to others outside. I’m not saying nice is not a valuable thing to be. Sometimes, though, we can get a little too nice and actually give a little too much of ourselves away in the spirit of trying to be pleasing or sometimes over helpful to others.

We give our energy away when we’re being nice. We actually have inner power when we’re being kind. I can remember a couple of times, in my career as a successful executive I knew that being kind was the only way to be in certain situations. It can be tricky, because we may have to control our inner voice, my past blog about this may help to reframe our thoughts. Read more here!

“What situations?” It is important to be KIND when we’re confronting issues, when we’re teaching others to excel, when we’re welcoming a new thought or a new person into the team, and the biggest one that I found is when the inevitable termination of someone has to happen.

I’m going to use the example of firing someone as the ultimate example of how kindness can really reach deep. If you’re not in the workplace, this may not apply to you. Imagine any situation that you actually have to terminate a relationship, whether that be with someone who services you, your family, your home, or someone who services your business. Terminating someone is not easy to do. It has to happen every now and then so we can move on and free ourselves up or free the other person or company up.

Years ago, I had a Human Resource manager. She was as nice as can be and really was trying to do a good job. After several sit downs and going through specific actions that had to happen in order for the job to be done properly, it came a time when the job wasn’t moving in the right direction. I knew it, as well as other members on the executive team, it was time to terminate this individual. The days leading up to that day, I was tormented, questioning myself and wondering if I just gave her another chance, would it turn around? We all hope for that, but at the end, we have to stick with our decision in order to serve the organization and the best needs of the group, the team, and the organization.

We have to make those tough decisions. Coming from a place of kindness rather than a place of rigidity or failed expectations, you no longer have to worry about all that wasn’t done. The key focal point is in the moment. In the moment it is when kindness really speaks the loudest. You always know the right words to speak when you’re speaking from a heart full of kindness.

In that day I told this woman, from the depths of my heart, in the kindest way I could possibly transmit to her that this was not the right place, that this was not working out, that I hoped that her future endeavors would match more with what she offers, and I wished her the best.

Sure, I was tormented. Sure, it was difficult, but in my heart, I spoke with kindness toward her as a fellow human being. I knew her journey. Later that day, I received one of the nicest emails that I’ve received in my working history, and it was from her. She returned the kindness. She was understanding, yet distraught in her own way, but we both touched each other in a very kind place, and from a human perspective, isn’t that what it’s all about?

As we move into kick-ass career time, sometimes the biggest kick-ass career move you can make is to be kind and to emanate from kindness when the tough times come our way. Because tough times will come and we will be defined by those moments.

DOWNLOAD the IDEASheet, as you are heading up your kick-ass career! Remember the first K, is kindness. Go ahead and be kind in tough times. It will pay off in big ways that will touch you, and memories of being human with another will always be pleasant thoughts.

Have a great week!

This is Mo Faul with