Performing acts of kindness: The winningest of all habits

Scientific research has shown time and again that people who regularly perform acts of kindness are happier, healthier and more successful. 

In addition, they live longer, are more satisfied with their lives and are far more likely to experience inner peace. Listed below are some benefits business people have experienced who have performed kind acts.

Kindness is always worth the effort

A friend of mine was recently at a ticket counter in one of the New York airports. A series of storms were passing through the area, flights were being delayed and many of the passengers were venting their frustration at the ticket agents.

When it was my friend’s turn to check his bags and get his boarding pass, he told the agent that he was impressed at how he was able to maintain his composure while dealing with so many irritated passengers. The agent said that it was all part of the job but thanked my friend for noticing. Then the agent told my friend that it looked almost certain that his flight would be canceled and he would have to spend the night in New York.

The agent then said, “If I were you, I would get a hotel room now while there are still some available. That way you can get a good night’s sleep and fly out tomorrow.” My friend took this advice and his flight was eventually canceled.

The next day, at the ticket counter, he ran into the same agent. As he was printing my friend’s boarding pass, my friend thanked him for his advice which had resulted in a very restful night.

The agent smiled and took back the boarding pass saying, “I think I can get you a better seat,” and then proceeded to book my friend into first class. A couple of small acts of kindness on my friend’s part resulted in his having a very comfortable trip home.

Everyone loves a kind CEO

A recent issue of USA Today, contained an article about Jay Stein, the CEO of a retail chain called Stein Mart. According to the article, Mr. Stein is extremely well liked by customers and employees. The reasons are that he's kind, he listens, he cares and he says, ‘thank you’ a lot.

A comment posted on points out that, "Jay Stein is a wonderful man who really cares about the people who work for him."

Mr. Stein spends lots of time visiting his stores and these visits are for the right reasons. As he puts it in the article, "I'm not coming to check on stores, I'm coming to thank people...." You'll find the same thing is true at Costco Wholesale stores where Craig Jelinek is the CEO. Employees absolutely love working there and they love their CEO.

This formula for success is not exactly earth shaking, but it has enabled these CEOs to create two very successful companies. The question I have is why don't more CEOs engage in this kind of behaviour? They would be a lot more successful if they did.

The bottom line to this is that we all need to regularly perform more acts of kindness. We’d be happier and far more successful and the world would be a much better place. 



Ross Reck, PhD is an author, consultant and speaker. His key area of focus is ‘choosing to succeed’ in sales, negotiation and employee engagement. He has delivered programmes throughout the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. His clients include : Rolls-Royce, Banco Santander, John Deere and Nestle

Performing acts of kindness: The winningest of all habits
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