A hunger for acts that remind us of what it means to be human…

Note to Self.  Be Kind.

Harvard Business Review Blog Network: It’s More Important To Be Kind Than Clever

“…It was a small act of kindness that would not normally make headlines…it’s a little story that offers big lessons…The rest, as they say, is social-media history…Gail’s post generated 500,000 (and counting) “likes” and more than 22,000 comments on Panera’s Facebook page. Panera, meanwhile, got something that no amount of traditional advertising can buy — a genuine sense of affiliation and appreciation from customers around the world…”

“…Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and “virtual word-of-mouth” to boost a company’s reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier’s gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human…”

“…So by all means, encourage your people to embrace technology, get great at business analytics, and otherwise ramp up the efficiency of everything they do. But just make sure all their efficiency doesn’t come at the expense of their humanity. Small gestures can send big signals about who we are, what we care about, and why people should want to affiliate with us. It’s harder (and more important) to be kind than clever…”

Read full story @  HBR Blog Network: It’s More Important To Be Kind Than Clever


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Harvard Business Review: Why is it so hard to be kind?

Comments

  1. I don’t understand why kindness and efficiency create a paradox – they should be able to co-exist. And yet, we all know the emphasis that is placed on maximizing one’s time. And ideally it’s not at the expense of others…too bad this isn’t inverted…Make sure you take care of others and be efficient with your time.

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  2. Yes, Mimi. Excellent point. Kindness can be viewed as being “soft” and lacking intensity and focus. Yet, when you see it, it is so disarming, so effective, so human, that it immediately transfers the “power” to the “human” delivering it.

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  3. I hadn’t heard of the Panera story and it will work so, so very well in the customer service training I do. Sometimes we over-complicate the message, but as is so evident here, what most people want is something quite simple. Treat me kindly; treat me like a person, not a number. What a wonderful, wonderful example of kindness. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. Why do we need a reminder to be kind? Shouldn’t that come naturally?

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  5. I love it, being kind cost us what???? Nothing!

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  6. Not Perfect Me says:

    Reblogged this on Not Perfect Me.

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  7. Had read the Panera story and was glad to see that there are good people helping others first before profit. I am sure sales increased from that act of kindness.
    Was at store the other day and lady in front of me paid for her items but forgot something in cart. She realized she had no more money. I told cashier I would take care of it. Lady was blown away…cashier looked at me like really?? To me it’s common sense to go extra mile.

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  8. Why not be kind. There is a lot of suffering in this world. A smile and a kind word can change everything. Good post!

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