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3 Things You Can Do to Activate Kindness at Work - January 2024

Happy New Year! For 2024, we've got a lot of new and exciting learning and activities planned here at The New School for Kind Leaders!

To start off, each month, we'll be publishing 3 simple and easy things that you can do to influence, encourage and activate people to be kinder at your workplace, whether you are in a formal leadership role of not!

Here are January's 3 Ways:

Think Kindly: Don't Assume - Ask: Pay attention to your thoughts! Especially when reading email subject lines and overhearing conversations people are having about others or meetings you haven't been at. It's easy to "assume the worst" based on others' opinions or past experiences. Instead of making assumptions (because you know what happens when we do that...), go talk with the person you are making the assumption about. Don't jump in with accusations...ask open-ended questions like, "Can. you tell me more about the problem you were referring to in the email you sent me?" Then pause, clear your mind, and listen to the answer the person is giving you. Chances are, it isn't as bad as what you "assumed".

Speak Kindly: Compliment Consciously: How often have you held your breath and felt that uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when your boss is looking over your work? Probably pretty often. That's because you are probably waiting for your boss to pick holes in your work and tell you everything they don't like...and all the things that are wrong. Especially if the work isn't finished, most people expect to be corrected, not complimented. You can change that for others by deliberately offering conscious compliments. When you are reviewing someone's work, look for the positive. And look for the effort they have put into it. Tell them what is great about what they are doing. You can also let them know what you think might be improved, but maybe, once you starting practicing conscious complimenting, it might be less that you initially thought. And please remember, it feels just as great to give a compliment as it feels to get one!

Act Kindly: Only Use Email as a Last Resort: "But email is so convenient" you're probably thinking to yourself. "And I can get stuff quickly off my desk and go on to the next thing." And, maybe you're even thinking, "Once it's in an email, and I can get a response, if anyone checks, including my boss, I've done what I need to do. If something goes wrong, it's not my fault..." I've worked in (and with) many organizations where people sitting beside each other, or who have offices next to each other, never talk with each other! They just send emails! Although it may seem more efficient (it actually isn't, but that is a whole other post), relying primarily on email to communicate allows unkindness to breed and fester. Because it's easy to misinterpret what someone is saying in an email, to misread the tone, and make assumptions. And, its also easy to respond less kindly than if you were talking face-to-face with someone. So, if you want more kindness in your workplace, ditch the email, get out of your seat and go and talk with someone. If that's not possible, call them on the phone or video chat. You'll get a quicker answer, be able to have a better discussion, and you'll create a deeper relationship with people. I only use email as a last resort...or if I need to send an attachment.

That's it for January's 3 Things You Can Do to Activate Kindness at Work! Give them a try and let us know what happens!


If you like these suggestions, and you'd like to make your workplace kinder, we'll be offering a free, one-hour Kindness Activator at Work Training Class on Tuesday, January 23rd at Noon ET. Once you complete the class, you'll be set to start your first Kindness Activator Activity at work, and you'll become part of The Kindness Activator Network!

Sign up here:

If that time doesn't work for you, or if your organization or team would like a free Kindness Activator Session, contact me at

29 views2 comments


Thank you Karyn ❤️I liked very much don’t assume as this is what i usually do .i would like to be better on asking open ended questions but most of the time i am stucking on how to ask the questions without blaming the other person or showing my emotions. So sometimes i keep silent . Is there any book that would help to learn more about how to ask questions when we don't like the situation that happened.

Replying to

Thank you for your kind words! I’m not sure about a specific book in question asking! Here are some suggestions I have!

1. “Can you please tell me more about that?” Is always a good one to start with, because it gives you more information about the other person’s point of view…and time to calm your emotions!

2. You can also say, “Here is what I thought I heard you say, and how I interpret that. (Then paraphrase and say what you think it means.) If that isn’t what you meant, can you explain further?”

I just had a conversation with someone who I could tell was frustrated with some things I said and did. I asked them to tell…

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