“No act of kindness is ever wasted.” Aesop
There has been so much turmoil in the world lately. Is it because we are so much more aware of the bad stuff as well as the good stuff now that the news is at our fingertips and inundating us via social media?
Who knows? What I do know though is how we need kindness in all aspects of our life now more than ever.
And yes, I’m talking about business relationships too. There seems to be a shift happening in business. Relationships are less transactional and more mindful. Consumers are choosing companies who demonstrate social responsibility. Soul entrepreneurs are taking the concept of parallel giving and creating highly successful businesses by tapping into customers’ preferences to purchase items that give back to the community in some way.
Now, kindness and business networking aren’t exactly two phrases or concepts that are traditionally known to go together like ‘peas and carrots’.
But extending this basic concept of caring to relationships you nurture for business purposes not only strengthens the business bond, it just feels darn good too!
Here’s how to keep your contacts with kindness:
1. Kind thoughts
Show you care by taking time out of your day to send some kind thoughts their way. I was chatting to a friend recently who had recently had some surgery. She had mentioned it to her hairdresser the last time she was there to get her hair cut. The day after the surgery, she received an SMS from her hairdresser wishing her well for a speedy recovery and telling her to pop in for a free shampoo and blow dry when she gets out of hospital. How lovely is that? Do you think my friend is going to go looking for another hairdresser anytime soon?
2. Kind community
Sometimes it’s good to step away from the warehouse, the office or the conference room and catch-up with business contacts away from work-related pressures and environments while doing something good for the community. A graphic design company recently invited their clients to join them on a fundraising walk. They ended up with a team of 30 and were the third highest fundraising group across the nation! The bonding while training and on the walk surpassed any sort of bonding that could have happened a cocktail party.
3. Kind offers of help
I love this quote. ‘It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.’ So said Benjamin Franklin. Wise words indeed. You wouldn’t think twice when a friend came to you asking for help. So don’t think twice when a business contact does the same. Or if you see they need help and are too proud to ask, offer your services. A digital media expert I know saw one of his clients floundering in the fast-moving world of social media. She had recently backed off on his services as a few big supplier invoices had come in and cash flow was tight. He offered to help her out free of charge for a month and if she was comfortable moving forward after that month, she could go back to paying him. As it turned out, he ran a successful campaign around one of her products (she sells tea online) and revenue from the demand not only got her out of the tight spot she was in cash-wise, it ended up paying for his consultancy services for the next three months!
See? It’s simple. Three easy ways you can incorporate kindness into your business life too. There is a lot to be said for treating people the way you would like to be treated. And it just makes another element of your life a whole lot more enjoyable and peaceful too.
Just because its business doesn’t mean it needs to be void of kindness, compassion and care.
Reap what you sow.
Need help with your networking skills? You might be interested in our 1 Day Business Networking Skills Workshop on the 12th November. Click here for more information.