In the past, kindness wasn’t always regarded as a strong characteristic. However, with the rise of the kindness economy, and leaders like Jacinda Arden, we’re now seeing more people and organisations acknowledge its value. Many now appreciate the strength and power it can bring.
But why is kindness so powerful? We take a look at five reasons why …
1. Positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness
Everyday acts of kindness can bring happiness for both the receiver and the giver. Even something small, like a smile or a compliment can make both sides feel good. The effort required is small, and yet the impact is big. Research shows that there’s a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness. When we do something kind, we feel happier. And the happier we feel, the more likely we are to be kind.
2. It’s contagious :-)
Not only does kindness make us happy, but it’s also contagious. So, if we see someone else being kind, it encourages us to follow suit, resulting in a ripple effect.
3. Kindness creates connections
“Kindness is the social glue that connects individuals within a community” - RAKTivist
Kindness and empathy help us relate to others and build relationships. Many of us will have experienced this during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kindness from neighbours, strangers and friends sparked new, or strengthened existing connections. It was this kindness that helped so many of us cope during a difficult and lonely time.
4. Kindness is good for your health
Research links kindness to a number of physical and emotional benefits, including cardiovascular. Being kind not only “warms” our hearts emotionally, but it also affects the chemical balance of our bodies, by causing the release of the hormone oxytocin. According to Dr David Hamilton, “oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure.” So, kindness not only makes our hearts happy, but it keeps them healthy as well.
5. Kindness is good for business
We know kindness fosters connections and brings happiness. And happy people are more motivated. It’s therefore no surprise that a kind leader can have a positive impact on an organisation’s culture and performance. Research conducted by Saïd Business School, Hall & Partners and Women of the Future shows that employees are three times more motivated in their role and 38% more likely to stay in their organisation for at least another 12 months when they rate their leaders as kind. The study goes on to say “Kindness builds trust, collaboration, productivity and loyalty … when people feel valued and respected, they perform better.” It quite literally ‘pays’ to be kind.
Kindness is the top characteristic parents want their children to have
According to our own research at Ducky Zebra, kindness is the top characteristic parents and carers want their children to have. This is hardly surprising, given all the emotional and physical benefits kindness can bring, along with the connections and happiness it can spark.
At Ducky Zebra our clothes are inspired by kindness. The animals playing together in our designs are compassionate, supportive and caring, whether they’re cycling, splashing or flying a kite. Our clothes are made with GOTS certified organic cotton to reduce their environmental impact and ensure kind, safe working conditions for those that make them.
“Kindness is one of our core values. It’s part of everything we do, every decision we make, every product we design and every relationship we build. And we feel happier because of it.”
Have you been on the receiving or giving end of kindness? We’d love to hear about your experience.