When you think about treating others the way that you want to be treated, do words like ‘ruthless’ or ‘cutthroat’ come to mind?
Each century has had its fair share of megalomaniac leaders who rely on ruthlessness instead of collaboration. Starting with rulers like Attila the Hun to Adolph Hitler, they technically won in some aspects, but is that how you would want to be remembered?
Today, we have people like Donald Trump with a take-no-prisoners mentality. Now, no one is debating The Donald’s business savvy, but one could question whether his interpersonal skills are exemplary. Being calculating is not the same as being crass.
Here is one simple fact: you never lose anything from being nice to another person. Take it another step — losers often lose in life because they see no value in being kind or courteous to others. So yes, kindness and courtesy are most definitely attributes of a winner.
There was a time when being courteous and kind was the norm, and not the exception. Now, you worry if you’re kind, others will assume you are weak or inexperienced and they’ll take advantage of you.
Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be naive — you can be courteous and generous without becoming a victim.
While it may seem like people who are ruthless do get ahead and achieve their goals, do you think those people are truly happy? That type of victory ends badly. Would you honestly feel proud of your accomplishments if you achieved your goals by trampling on others with little regard for what sadness and anger you left in your wake? I didn’t think so.
However, don’t confuse determination with ruthlessness — you must possess fierce determination to reach your goals, but this does not mean you have to be a ‘jerk’ to win.
Give respect once it’s earned is what society teaches. However, even strangers and those you might consider of little status should be treated with respect. Embrace the value of respecting others — honoring others — and you will have plenty of support to reach your goals.
This does not mean you have to like or agree with everything. What it does mean is you choose to invest in respecting others, even if they make a mistake. This does more to win their trust and loyalty on the next team project or shared endeavor than openly crucifying them. To earn respect, you have to give it.
Want to know the secret to achieving sustainable victory now instead of in the end? Lend your hand towards helping others win. Do not steal the spotlight when everyone contributed to completing a project on time and under budget.
Be generous with your time and your money, even if it seems like you don’t have much of either. Even small contributions of time, materials or money can make a big difference in the lives of others.
You may remember the movie, Pay It Forward, about a child who develops a plan to pay people forward, not back, with random kind acts. Even though this was a fictitious movie, the message is anything but fictitious — random opportunities to be kind to others, even strangers, are all around us. Recognize them, seize them, act on them and you will experience far more in return than what you give.
Mark Twain said it best: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Have you ever performed a random act of kindness? How did it make you feel? Let us know in the comments section below!