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Random acts of kindness


Although we are celebrating independence this month, the focus really should not be on how we can stand alone and be successful; if anything, it should be about how much we need each other to stand united and push our country forward, one act at a time. People cannot work together if they don’t trust each other and believe that their neighbour has their best interests at heart.{{more}} Don’t wait for someone else to lead the way—you can start with a few acts of kindness to build solidarity with your co-workers, friends and neighbours.

Invite someone to lunch. The meal should not be expensive; the goal is to build a relationship with the person, get to know them and vice versa.

Help out on a project. Imagine you have a major deadline, time is of the essence and a co-worker voluntarily offers to help you meet your deadline just when you thought the task was impossible. How would that make you feel? Now do it.

Remember special occasions. If it is someone’s birthday, give a card, say “Happy Birthday”, buy an inexpensive gift (no joke gifts, please). Celebrate births, pending marriages, and offer condolences in times of bereavement. This can be done on an individual basis, as office birthday clubs sometimes become too political and expensive.

Say “job well done.” Instead of frowning and gossiping when a colleague gets a promotion, make it a point to congratulate them on their new position.

Mentor a new employee who is new to the company or new to the work world. Take the time to share your expertise with someone who is trying to get a handle on his or her new environment. Even experienced workers could use a little advice.

Offer rides. If a colleague does not have a car or their vehicle is in the mechanic shop, make it a point to offer a ride, especially in inclement weather.

Refill the machines. Something as simple as refilling the printer and copy machine with paper can be a big timesaver for someone. File or deliver faxed documents lying around at the machine to the appropriate person.

And finally, the simplest act of kindness is to greet your co-workers, say hello, good morning or good afternoon with a smile.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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