“Being busy is a new status symbol.”

– Neeru Paharia


American views on busyness was recently described in Psychology Today; “In our research, we find that a person who is busy is also seen to be a scarce resource, because they have little time available. Like a rare gemstone, this scarcity makes them appear higher in status.”


The studies mentioned in Psychology Today note that Americans have a tendency to strive for busyness – thinking the perception of not having time makes them appear to have more ambition and insight then their peers.


That got us thinking. What impact could this “new status symbol” have on the organization’s culture?

The outcome could involve leaders overextending themselves, which can lead to stress, followed by an individualistic (versus team) mindset.


The remedy to an individualistic mindset is simple… reprioritize kindness.


We all have long to-do lists, with 10 too many items on them, but taking a moment to share an act of kindness can go a long way.

Here are a few ideas you can keep in mind to prioritize kindness as we approach World Kindness Day on November 13.


Warm greetings.

Starting the day, or a meeting, with a welcoming attitude is a great way to set a kind tone. You could also hold the door, or actually listen to the response when asking others “How are you?” Finding a moment or two to warmly greet others can have a huge impact on those you interact with, and they will likely follow your lead. 



Share with your colleague that you’ve noticed how hard they’ve been working on fill in the blank. Genuine compliments revive engagement and encourage colleagues to keep up the good work. As mentioned above, leaders are looking to be seen as ambitious and insightful. You acknowledging their work highlights that and provides an opportunity to spread kindness in the workplace.


Small gifts.

Small gifts may be a batch of homemade brownies, a book with a relevant topic, or an invite out to lunch. In each case, thoughtfulness is key. Taking the time to consider what someone else would appreciate can really go a long way in making someone’s day better.


Be a sounding board.

Your time is another invaluable way to show kindness. If you notice that a colleague is struggling with a project or task, offering to help them sort through a particular task can be a huge relief. Your offer of a few minutes can help advance the project exponentially.


Being kind is all about remembering that we are all human. Stress (both work and personal) can shape our day but a stress filled day can be nudged into a positive one by a simple act of kindness.


If you or your team could use some help shaping your organization’s culture, we’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Give us a call at +1.847.920.0190.

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