Too busy to be kind

This week we saw world peace day come and go.  It reminds us of the big bold mission of peace and kindness in the world, but on a more personal level it reminds us to give a little kindness everyday.

Yet 3 times this week I have heard the blocks and barriers to kindness in business, or perhaps it is a simple excuse – we are just too busy.

I ran a workshop on communicating with trust. The Managers said they reverted to transaction, directive, instructional conversations because they simply didn’t have time to do the meaningful conversations.  Work needed to be done, and so they just instructed their people on what needed to be done.

The experiment

I asked the communicator to instruct their partner in drawing their ideal home.  They had 1.5 minutes and could only use direct, no nonsense instructions.

The result was that they received a rather basic drawing back.  It kind of resembled their dream home, but wasn’t great.  The drawer said that they felt under pressure, didn’t have all the facts and felt zero connection.  They then received feedback on their drawing in the nonsense manner, and they felt criticised.

Then they repeated the exercise, this time with 3 minutes.  The difference was that this time they could have a calm, relaxed, two way conversation.  They should be curious, open, asked clarifying questions and could ask for feedback as they drew.  Conversations developed, questions were asked,  and barriers were broken.  They tapped into colours, emotions, feelings, dimensions, aspirations and detail.  As they drew they asked for feedback and guidance.  They collaborated and the feedback was nurturing, supportive and kind.

The result

I hope you can guess the result.  The second picture was almost perfect, first time, and what’s more the connection between both participants was strengthened.

Being kind, patient, collaborative and supportive takes less time than you think, and the benefits are stronger relationships, engagement and trust and ultimately the work gets done right first time.