Positive Quote: “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” — Og Mandino
One of the main reasons I like this quote is that it helps reinforce for me that my interactions with people is just a small part of their overall day. I don’t know what else they are working on, what else is going on in their life, or what struggles they may be facing. However, I do know that I would prefer to treat people kindly.
Yet, kindness at times can be seen by others in different ways. There are times as a leader where we have to deliver a tough message or hold people accountable. To some, the message may be harsh or difficult to hear. Yet, I believe that it is in the delivery; to deliver the message with kindness, yet consistency.
This brings to my memory a time many years ago when I had a leader who reported to me and he wasn’t quite where I needed him to be at his level. He would turn in reports with data errors that should have been caught. He turned in deliverables late or had to be constantly reminded. Yet, I knew he had the potential. He had a great rapport with people and his team was motivated and had a bond with him. Rather than delivering the message pointing out all the issues at the start, I took a different approach. I sat him down, in a meeting room, and I asked him if he wanted to be a team leader. I asked him if that was what he really wanted to be doing. This one question opened the door for us to talk openly about what I was seeing and we came up with an approach for him to refocus on certain aspects of his job. Several years down the road, I was in a different role, we had the chance to catch up and he told me that conversation had been a turning point for him. I shudder to think what the end outcome would have been if I had not tried to deliver the message with kindness.
What do you think of when you read this quote?
Have a fabulous Friday.