Kindness, Change, & Culture

by | Apr 17, 2019 | Change |

My son and I created paper flowers out of tissue paper the other day. We found a bit of hard plastic to lie them on and attached a short piece of string to them to act as a stem. Then we took the ‘stems’ and ‘planted’ them in different coloured water. Zac was amazed to see the colours race up the string and transform the white tissue paper into red, orange and yellow. It was fun to see (and hear!) his delight in watching the paper being infused with colour.

In the midst of change, kindness is often noticed, especially kindness expressed in the ‘seeing’ and noticing the other person. Kindness is a choice and when chosen consistently creates a distinctly different culture than when it is not present. For some of us, we’ve been told kindness is weak, soft, wimpy. Yet, choosing kindness; choosing to see the other person and acknowledge their humanness often requires great strength, courage, and guts.

We create and reinforce our team and organisational culture each day, in every interaction, email, chat message, discussion. We reinforce it in how we hold people accountable, how we celebrate, how we share our wins and our defeats. What we create and reinforce is a choice; it is not static. Culture is created, reinforced, and changed drip by drip by drip.

Culture is the result of many factors, but has much to do with how we behave towards each other. Our behaviours are like the coloured water the flowers sip from, they are one of the sources from which the colour of our culture is created. As my son discovered, we only needed to add 3 drops of red water to 17 drops of yellow water and the yellow became orange. Kindness is noticed. Kindness changes us drip by drip by drip.

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