Why We All Need a ‘Kindness Plan’ and 3 Easy Ways to Get Started
I have a friend who is like a walking Wiki – not a Wookie – but a curator of helpful information on just about any topic you can imagine. Even when I know she has been seriously unwell or snowed under with work, she sends phone numbers and names of relevant organisations to assist people in a whole range of predicaments.
She is a connector. She likes to see people do well and loves to play a role in bringing people together. She will share posts and support projects and is quite well known for being someone who will either have the answer, or know a person who will.
What I appreciate most of all about this friend is that she receives nothing in return other than the warm fuzzy feeling of having helped people connect. What she does is kind, and while she does this quite a lot, I can’t help but wonder how different our connections could all be if we each committed a few moments a day to doing a similar thing. Not as part of our marketing strategy or to gain something in return, but as a purely selfless gesture. It’s a little like a random act of kindness, but not random. In fact, what I propose is quite the opposite.
Intentional kindness. Purposeful acts that are purely kind.
In a matter of minutes, the wonderful world of social media enables us to make someone’s day. The early stages of business can be a lonely experience. Words of encouragement can be few and far between and we walk that fine line between sharing our brand, and wearing out our small circle of followers.
Sometimes a comment on a post, a few ‘likes’ and a ‘share’ can help start the ball rolling and introduce budding enterprises to a new audience. Now, I’m not suggesting you go so far as to recommend or refer people (unless you are confident in their ability to deliver) but simple gestures that show support are something most of us can manage.
Here are a few practical ways to get you started just with social media:
1. Choose 3 businesses to lavish with kindness
This approach is great for people who feel that the things they ‘share’ are a direct reflection on their brand. Understandably they don’t want to support something that might turn out to be a bit embarrassing or at odds with their own central message. But if you take some time to check out a few businesses or ventures and establish that you are happy to be associated with them, you can focus on actively sharing their content or connecting them with people in a wider network on a regular and purposeful basis.
2. Take the ‘Intentionally Opportunistic’ approach
If selecting a set number of targets isn’t your thing, then you might prefer to just share and support as opportunities arise. But because we are being ‘intentional’ about this, we need to do something to separate it from the world of ‘random’. The most efficient way to do this is to make a point of tacking it onto the end of (or during) your usual social media time, and intentionally look for posts you can share or comment upon.
3. Bestow kindness on a chosen platform
I have a business presence on Facebook and Instagram, where I only post my own content. However, on Pinterest, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and my personal Facebook account, I have a mix of content from various sources, so I choose to share and support others on those platforms. On Pinterest for example I have a board dedicated to business contacts (many of whom I have never actually met) where I save pins of their books or programs.
Because I can.
Whether you are motivated by kudos, karma or kindness itself, the very thing our world needs more of is within your reach. But kindness requires action – so today, if you intend to do anything, intend to be kind.
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