As we spend even more time than usual glued to our screens, we’re all seeing people whose attitudes and behavior are disheartening—and in some cases, disgusting. But for every example of someone exploiting the pandemic for profit or airing divisive and abhorrent beliefs, there are many more stories of people stepping up in courage and selflessness. I truly believe that these terrible times are, for the most part, bringing out the best in people.
For leaders at every level, in every situation, bringing out your best means leading from within—thinking of others above yourself. And it’s something we all can practice right where we are. Here are a few acts of kindness you can do to help the worst of times bring out the best of who we are:
Reach out. If you’re feeling isolated and fearful, remember that many others are experiencing the same things. Make a list of people you can get in touch with to say hello and ask how they are—colleagues, neighbors, family members.
Don’t fix, just listen. Solving problems energizes many leaders, but in challenging times most people just want someone to listen and be there for them, to hear their words and acknowledge what is being said. Listening is often the best thing you can do to help someone feel better.
Be generous. Most people wait to give until they are asked. But especially in these tough times, look for ways you can help and places you can give. Don’t wait to be asked. Even if you have little to give, give a what you can.
Speak kind words. With so many people experiencing disappointment, loss and uncertainty, kind words are more important than ever. They make the world a softer, safer place—for the person hearing them and the person speaking them.
Be present. In difficult times we’re all inclined to focus on ourselves and our own survival and well-being, but being present with another does much more to defuse stress and disarm anxiety. Whether you’re physically distant or spending more time than usual in close quarters, work to stay connected and present in the lives of those you care about.
Practice gratitude. Challenges can either break us or build us up. The best way to survive with your spirit intact is by being mindful of what really matters and appreciating what you have.
At times like this, it’s easy to turn our thoughts inward toward fear and isolation. But if there’s a thread of grace in this moment, it’s the opportunity to slow down, reflect and engage in small acts of kindness. Take a moment every day to ask yourself what really matters, and the worst of times can bring out the best of what you have to offer.
Lead from within: When you lead from within, you allow your heart to guide you and your actions to serve humanity. Show love. Show compassion. Show that you care.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.