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Why Being Kind Will Make You A Successful Person

Why Being Kind Will Make You A Successful Person

Being successful is no longer equated to the power-suited, serious and determined, “don’t get in my way” kind of individuals that it used to. Instead you’ll find the most success people in life are the exact opposite. All you have to do is take a look at the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling and Richard Branson. Each of these very successful people are the kind of individuals who you wouldn’t feel out of place asking to your grandmother’s 80th birthday party! Plus they’re the kind of people most others aspire to be like, personally and professionally.

So why is that? What is so different about these people? Well, I’ve come up with a few points on why these people are successful based on the fact that being kind is a big part of that success and how you can do the same.

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1. Let go of the need to compete with others.

Competition breeds selfishness and a feeling of lack, which isn’t the most positive place to start when trying to be successful. To be successful we don’t need to all be successful at the same things, and if we can all be successful at different things, isn’t that a better thing than no success at all? If you compete there is no room for being kind to your fellow human being, as it will all be about wanting and having more with little or no thought for others. Competition might be seen as a motivator, but it can also be an obstacle to success. Try to focus less on what others are doing and you’ll see a dramatic change in your circumstances.

2. Have balance in all areas of your life.

If you think you are successful in life because you are making a lot of money and have a dream home, yet your family never see you because you work most of the time, then you’d be wrong. Successful people are mindful of the fact that having balance in all areas of their lives includes everything from the mind, body, heart (including family) and spirit. When they are in tune with that balance they are paying attention to what matters, and being kind, giving and compassionate are all a big part of that.

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3. They spend time with good, kind and honest people.

Successful people hang around with those who are like-minded, who aspire to create the same things and who reflect a part of them that they would like to be. It has been said that you are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with, so if you want to be successful you must seek out those you want to be like personally as well as professionally. You’ll know if you are hanging around with the right people or not by checking how you feel after you’ve been with them.

4. Be kind to yourself even when mistakes are made.

A big part of success is how you deal with failure because no matter how successful you are you will have had some failures to get to where you are. Being kind to yourself whilst failing is vitally important because it’s at the point of failure that blame, self-doubt and negativity can consume you. Instead of going down that road, look to the reason why you failed and what you can learn from it. It’s when you look on the positive side of things you can begin to see failure as a gift rather than something to feel bad about.

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5. Give some of your time away unconditionally.

Whether you are in business for yourself or you want to be a success in your personal life, giving time to others unconditionally is a sure-fire way to be successful in life. It’s by giving to others without expecting something in return that you really begin to see the benefit of being a good and kind person. Seeing the joy in someone’s face, the gratitude in their eyes and hearing a thank you from their lips is all that is required to live a happy, successful life. So, give away as much as you can and you’ll reap the benefits in ways you can only imagine.

6. Help other people get what they need to succeed.

It’s a massively good thing to help others achieve success. Firstly, it will not only make you feel happy and content with your efforts, but also it goes a long way towards helping you get the success you want. Look at it this way: if you help someone to succeed, then nine times out of ten they’ll feel grateful enough to help you in the future. The thing here is not to do ‘favors’ in order to get something in return. Do it because you love being kind and you love to help people succeed, which is success in itself!

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7. Always be grateful for what you have.

This is probably the most important quality of a successful person because it is the kindest and most loving quality anyone can possess. It’s when you are grateful for what you have right now, even though struggle and hardship, that you create more things to be grateful about. When you moan or complain about what you don’t have, it only creates more stuff to moan or complain about! So shift your focus by being kind, being grateful and by focusing on what you do have.

Do you want success in life? Start by being a more generous and being a kinder person and see what a difference it will make.

Featured photo credit: Clay Larsen via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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