There are moments in all our days, weeks, year, life, that we experience a ‘random act of kindness’, someone does something that makes you feel seen, understood, and cared for. It can be as small as a person noticing you are in a rush and letting you go in front of them at a supermarket, or even a moment when a stranger says something unusually kind, such as ‘I just want to say, you look so amazing’. I said that to a woman walking through a car park last week, it made me feel great saying it, and I hope she felt a little nudge of love.
The fact is, we all need to be seen, appreciated, understood, and loved. Every one of us needs this without exception, we love to receive it, and some of us love to give it. I guess it takes confidence to give love, a desire to make others feel good about themselves. There is such enormous power in the giving and receiving of love and kindness.
In 2002, I wrote a Blog called ‘Emotional Wealth leads to Financial Wealth’, as a result, I became a Public Speaker, and I was also interviewed more times than I expected by people who wanted me to explain this. I have stated many times in my writings that I am not academic, I am an observer, and a listener and I gain my thoughts through witnessing pain and also witnessing change. Back in the early 2000s, emotion in business was not really expected as ‘the norm’, the term “It’s just business, it’s not personal”, was the words expressed. However, I am seeking to change this, and so are many, many others, I state, ‘Business Is Personal’ and even wrote a book with that title!
My thinking and my emotions are focused on the business world. Emotional skills in business as an asset is becoming, finally, more desired. I joined the Business World aged 19, and I always longed for it. Leaders are seeing leadership being tested by the emotional and wellbeing needs of their workforce and are being plummeted into a world that is slightly alien. Many companies are using a ‘tick box’ exercise to say, ‘We have a ‘Wellbeing Policy’, yet is their culture one of care, kindness and love? Or is there a culture of “the strongest survive” and “let’s burn through our workforce and then recruit another poor soul”.
There is no doubt in my mind that business is about results, the focus on getting things done and achieving the goals of the business. This is a leader’s primary role of course. Maintaining the financial needs of the business, and in some cases the shareholders, of course, these come first. I run a small business, you should see me with my ‘financial hat on’, nothing gets past me, the need for sales, the need for reserve cash, the need for our business to be respected and therefore paid on time, these all occupy much of my time. However, culturally, we come from the heart, we show gratitude, we praise, we listen, we love, and we support. We give time for the unseen and unheard issues that people have in their lives. We encourage kindness and through that we witness love.
What ‘greatly matters to me’ in my life and business is…
- To care deeply about people and their sense of belonging, love, self-esteem, and happiness.
- To know they know and FEEL that they matter, and they are heard.
- to see growth in their confidence, and awareness of their personal definition of success.
- To understand about their purpose, their reason for being on earth and their business success.
In a business that is rightly focused on tasks, roles, hierarchies, taking time achieve love and kindness is not always easy. Yes, we can throw out gestures and words, but actual time to talk, listen, care, and know the real person behind their ‘job’ is not easy. Finding time to give love and kindness is not the solution, it is about ‘being loving and kind’. It might also be awkward for some people, they might find it hard to ‘intrude’ on someone’s private life, and equally, someone might find it hard to reveal it. But let’s not fool ourselves, we all want a shoulder, we all want kindness and we can all learn to do this.
I manifest my beliefs, my purpose and my values through ‘community building’ – I have built a number of communities and I see the impact they have on people. Community is the essence of ‘love and belonging’.
Within our BIP100 Community which I share here as a ‘case study’, we ensure people step forward and join based on their understanding of our culture of love and kindness, we then constantly drive this culture. It has become the hidden meaning of being a member, a feeling that each person carries into 121 meetings and into the events we run. A strong sense of ‘belonging and love’ is witnessed, and, through that emotional uplift, productivity, innovation, togetherness and sharing we see their businesses grow.
Each Tuesday, Tj Power runs a 45 minute ‘Wellbeing Session’, he has now run 79 of them. The sharing of some tips and insights into how we work as humans around our neurotransmitters and our emotions. This sparks incredibly deep conversations and openness, and a chance for validation and kindness within those that attend.
Last week, Tj shared his knowledge on the hormone Oxytocin
Definition – Oxytocin is a hormone that’s produced in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. Its main function is to facilitate childbirth, which is one of the reasons it is called the “love drug” or “love hormone.”
Over two weeks, he encouraged us to think about how to can deplete or build this very important hormone, important for all genders. This is why…..
-Thank you Tj for sharing this.
When we are low on Oxytocin, we will be quiet, irritable, anxious, maybe a bit paranoid, fearful, vulnerable, we might have sleep challenges, and we can feel isolated and disconnected.
When we are high in Oxytocin, we are happy, connected, confident, calmer, loving and accepting of love and support.
Surely, we all seek to be around people that have high Oxytocin levels. However, technology has rendered people extremely lonely, at home, and at work with little opportunity to bond, to be loving, to received love and kindness. Technology now dominates all ages, and low Oxytocin can impact any age, 66% of business people that take my Business Health Check, state that they have experienced loneliness. Speak to many parents and to all schools and they will report a challenge with children suffering social anxiety and stress. When we are disconnected, when we don’t feel love and bonding within the communities that matter to us, when we don’t feel we really matter, it really challenges our mental wellbeing.
People have lost the art of DEEP conversation, the ability to enquire, to open up, to take time for each other outside of the ever-increasing workload they have. We have all become very task focused-which can BLIND us to the human needs of others. Many have even lost the heart and soul of why they do what they do.
Love and kindness might have to consciously be re-established into your life and into the organisations you are associated with. The creation of a community that invites people into a space for this, that doesn’t force participation, purely states, “if you would like to bond with others, here is how we would like to provide that for you” is wonderful gift. I can promise you; Community, love, bonding, and kindness, is a whole lot more impactful than a Mental Health Policy, a subscription to Calm for everyone and a Mental Health First Aid tick box.
While all of these are a marvellous step forward, I look forward to the day when ‘love and belonging’ returns and becomes the waterhole and the experience for all.
*This blog first appeared in my LinkedIn newsletter.