Kindness is the greatest virtue, says Tommy Koh

As a lecturer, I have realised that a “problem” kid/person may be going through personal issues at home. I am reluctant to whitewash the behaviour.

Similarly, an person may be so fixated with how unkind others have been to him/her that pointing out their behaviour may have worse consequences.

If the person is not under your authority, and the remark is not targeted at you, let it pass. (If bullying is involved, get someone of higher authority – like the School Administrator in the loop. Sometimes the bully can accuse you of bullying. )

Videos on Kindversations

How to be kind? Dave Kerpen offers some suggestions.

1. Never give out criticism in front of other people. It never works. (Only leads to shame and fear.)

2. Instead, set up a time for one on one private discussion with the person with whom you want to share feedback.

3. Offer up a “praise sandwich”: start with something you like about the person and/ or the job he’s doing, continue with the negative feedback, and close by affirming how much you value the person and how confident you are in him.

4. Make sure to offer positive solutions to the issues at hand and get alignment on the solution of choice.

5. Don’t dwell on the negative and look for future opportunities to publicly praise the positive about the person as soon and as much as you can.

1. Make a list of five kind authentic things you can say about each person you encounter on a regular basis.
2. Practice doling out praise publicly and increase praise you give out each day. Remember it’s free and powerful.
3. When you have to deliver criticism do it privately and try doing it with a praise sandwich : praise , criticism and then deep praise.

Dave Kerpen, “The Art of People”

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