As much as we’re affected, moulded, and influenced by those around us, we also have the same effect on others. So we all have a responsibility to do so positively and unconditionally. The smallest of words or actions can boost someone’s self-love or pick up someone’s mood. We can encourage someone to pursue their aspiration or inspire someone to aim higher. We can empower others to take control of their lives by relinquishing ours over them. Be an example. Be a catalyst. And bring out the best in others. They might be the leader, innovator, and partner of tomorrow.
Kindness is natural to many of us. But sometimes we forget that we also have perfectly natural feelings that might not quite align with kindness and love. So here are a few ideas about how we can continue to be more compassionate and conscious of our levels of kindness:
- Encourage other people’s dreams and pursuits, instead of casting doubts or negativity over their ambitions. We can offer constructive advice, but we can never define another’s capabilities and drive.
- Celebrate other people’s successes, instead of allowing jealousy to cloud the occasion. Most of the time, people work hard to achieve their goals, and we shouldn’t deny them of the glory.
- Comfort other people in times of turmoil or grief, instead of spouting the ‘I told you so’s. People are often vulnerable during these times, and they want to be reminded that everything will be ok in the end.
- Inspire other people to be the best they can be, instead of trying to influence or mould them into our idea of what is best for them. We all have our own paths we want to take and people we want to be, so let’s open the world to everyone instead of close it off.
How do you like to show your compassion and spread kindness?
Recently I listened to an audiobook version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, which inspired me to attend a workshop at my university called ‘Persuading, Influencing and Negotiating Skills’. I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt about negotiating with other people and influencing or persuading them.
The key to negotiating and influencing people is simple: understand what it is you want and understand what the other person wants. Both are essential, you cannot go into a negotiation or try to influence someone without also considering them. A negotiation is precisely a compromise between two parties, a win-win.
- Come up with the best case scenario for what it is that you want from the other person and then come up with other strategies according to your priorities – you may not get everything you want because negotiating with another person may highlight contradictions with the other person’s best case scenario or priorities.
- Try to build a relationship with that person before the negotiation or before trying to influence them into something. This builds confidence, respect, and a (professional) friendship. The following points should also help you do that.
- With this being said, you need to do some research or put some thought into what the other person may want or need – how can you twist those things you want or need into positives for them and potentially into things they want or need? What could you trade for something you have really prioritised? You need to keep looking at the positives and how you can collaborate rather than focusing on the conflicts that arise from the contradictions between your strategies.
- Therefore, don’t criticise and argue with the other person – all that will do is make them resentful and make any sort of negotiation or compromise difficult because they will both not feel comfortable around you and only be focusing on the conflicts rather than the potential compromises. Again, focus on the positives and the potential collaborations.
- Your attitude is essential to gaining confidence with the other person and building rapport – listen to the other person’s opinions and needs, show respect for those things through appreciation and encouragement, and remember to keep an open mind through looking at that person’s point of view.
- But that doesn’t mean you need to let the other person walk over you: be confident and positive in your approach and the other person will respect you too. It is a two-way street, otherwise any negotiation will never have the best outcome.