Are you kind? 4 ways you can be.

Did you know that the Golden Rule is a principle of conduct taught in virtually every country, every culture, and every religion?

What is the Golden Rule?

It is at its core a call to be kind, respectful, and caring. It’s also a defining mark of the most successful modern leaders.

Below you’ll find 4 ways you can practice the Golden Rule as a leader and one “what-would-you-do” scenario.

What is The Golden Rule

Living the Golden Rule is a call to set aside your self-interest and reach for something higher.

It is a call to act with respect, honesty, kindness, justice, mercy, fairness, accountability, patience, and civility towards others, in the interest of others.

Studies show it is perhaps the most impactful quality of a successful leader. Kind leaders generate 60% higher profits and have the highest retention rates with their people. And, kind doctors (regardless of skill) experience the lowest incidence of malpractice lawsuits.

Beyond Workplace Performance

But the Golden Rule goes well beyond workplace performance. Living the golden rule touches at the very heart of what it means to be human. To feel. To see another human suffer and suffer with them. To celebrate the wins of another with them. It invokes empathy, sympathy, charity, compassion, love, and kindness.

What Would You Do?

Think about what would you do in the following situation (true story):

A friend was at O’Hare Airport during an intense storm. Stranded passengers became impatient, hungry, and irritable.

Among them, a young, pregnant mother was standing in a long line at the airline counter with her young toddler crying on the dirty floor at her feet. She was sick and tired, and just wanted to go home. Not able to bend over and pick up anything heavy, she was pushing the crying child along the line with her foot.

What would you do if you saw this? Most did nothing, while others were visibly annoyed because of the crying. One man decided to act.

With a smile of kindness on his face, he said, “You need help. Let me help you.” He lifted the dirty, crying child from the floor and held her warmly in his arms and helped calm her. He explained to those in the line the woman’s need for help, then took her to the front of the line, spoke with the ticket agent, and soon had her checked in on a flight. He then found a comfortable seat for her and her toddler, chatted for a moment, and went on his way.

Do you think this mother will ever forget this act of kindness? How do you treat other people, especially someone who can do nothing for you in return?

Choose to Actively Practice Kindness

The impact when you choose to Live the Golden Rule is profound.

So, how can you best live by this principle? Here are some ideas:

  • Develop the selfless servant-leader mindset. Remember that everybody is fighting a battle of some type, so ask yourself, “How can I help this person in their battles.”
  • Think about a customer, co-worker, friend, or family member who you could write a personal note to this week. Write the note, visit with them, and be present for them.
  • Take time to visit with your team, learn about them, and check in on how they’re doing. Express your appreciation for them.
  • Identify one thing you can do as a team this week to make your customers – or employees – feel like gold. Have all the employees on your team focus on this one thing. It could be asking for their name, saying thank you, or smiling when you talk to the customer.

Practice the Golden Rule in work and in life, and you’re well on your way to becoming your best.

“So, practice the Golden Rule professionally and personally and remember the law of the harvest: ‘You reap what you sow!’ What you send out, personally or professionally, will eventually come back to you.” – Steve Shallenberger

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