Yesterday I had the privilege to present a lunch and learn with the topic of Kindness as a character strength to a corporate client. All agreed, it was the perfect topic for right now. (All that aside, I appreciate a companies that value their employees enough to offer conversations like this and I am fortunate to work with several!)
Kindness, as a strength is one of the most powerful and from the via character.org website, a person with the character strength of kindness might make this statement:
“I am helpful and emphatic and regularly so nice favors for others without expecting anything in return.”
The good news is that kindness is one of the 5 most common top character strengths around the world. And the other good news is everyone has a strength of kindness within them at some level, and this can be expanded on purpose and grown stronger.
In fact, I think it might be one of the easier ones to build because it is not difficult to understand what it takes to be kind. Every time we use a strength we make it stronger. Use it consistently and it can become one of your strongest strengths.
The dimensions of kindness, from the book Character Strengths Interventions by Ryan M. Niemiec, are described as
Some people may be strong in all of these areas, but it seems that most are especially strong in one- which most reflects your personal kindness style?
When you are at your best with kindness you are balanced between giving kindness to yourself and giving it to others.
We all know people, you may be one, who give give give and then give out. The self kindness aspect is important to refill your ability to keep giving and doing for others. This topic is becoming a hot one in the health care arena, where burn out is high.
Kindness can be holding the door for someone, doing a random act of kindness where the recipient never knows who did it, it can be doing a favor, it can be taking care of something for someone without being asked, donating money, time or a skill, and so much more. Kindness can be the compassionate caring of just holding space and listening to someone.
If you receive my weekly newsletter, you will see this week that I include a short meditation, via the Insight Timer app, on kindness, meant especially for kids, but SO perfect for us adults, too. Here’s the line that Alison Crofton suggests we repeat over and over again.
“Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.”