What is kindness? "It’s an ACTION you take to generate a positive effect and outcome for someone else!" As people go back to traveling for business, I’ve seen a lot of social media and news coverage about people being upset about being asked to change seats on a plane. Prior to COVID-19, when I was traveling full-time, it’s something I did regularly.
On one flight to Brazil, I was in an aisle seat, and the flight attendants were gathered around speaking in Portuguese to a young lady seated beside me who was crying. I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying, so I asked a flight attendant to translate to English. He told me that the young lady had been visiting relatives in New York, had fallen ill, been hospitalized and was traveling home. She was asking for an aisle seat in case she had to use the restroom frequently during the flight. “There are no aisle seats, though”, the flight attendant said. “Well”, I replied, “I’m in an aisle seat and she can have mine!” “It’s an eight hour flight! You’d change seats for such a long flight? You’re going to be uncomfortable”, the woman sitting on the other side of the young girl said to me. “That’s okay”, I replied. “Eight hours is a tiny fraction of my life. I have a daughter her age and if she was in this situation, I hope someone would be kind to her.” Being kind, taking action to create a positive outcome for someone else, may make you momentarily uncomfortable. When you are wearing your Leader Hat, and influencing others, it's especially important to help them understand that acting kindly may make them feel uncomfortable for a short while, and that it's okay. But I can assure you - and you can assure them - that discomfort will be outweighed by the benefit someone receives from your kindness and the joy you feel from helping someone.
You can read more about the Three Key Behaviors of Acting Kindly in Chapter 6 of The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness!