Sowing the Seeds: Planting Kindness in the Workplace

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Do you have anyone at your current employment that no matter how bad a day you are having; you know you can count on them to lighten your load?  The unconditional kindness they shower upon others like seeds of wildflowers.  Over the past couple years; I have been honored to work with one of these seed planters.  This past week she won employee of the month at one of our partner hospitals.  The funny thing is that she is not their employee, but the management companies.  This individual is so modest, that she would never share her name.  But, this is what she shared with me related to winning the award:

Secret Agent Woman

I found myself completely surprised and really speechless related to this award.  It’s a true compliment to be chosen as employee of the month especially when technically I’m not an employee of the hospital.  I think I do a lot of good things in secret.  Through all my years of volunteering I’ve never found myself in the spotlight before. I feel the rewards of helping other people are magnified when my coworkers notice how involved I am in doing things I truly care about. “

She spends her days as a director in an outpatient program managing the team and daily operations.  If you visited her program, you would be elevated in spirits simply by sharing conversations with her and the team.  I have known a handful of people that carry a a bucket of kindness throughout their day.  The effects are left on the individuals in their path and everyone is transformed in spirits and success from being a part of their lives.

This particular secret agent woman stands out among all my contacts over the years.  She possesses 3 soft skills that are the key ingredients of a seed planter.

3 soft skills that are key

#1 Humble

The Joker in Batman teaches us the opposite of this characteristic, “Wait til they get a load of me!!!”.“ Do you know one of these individuals in the workplace that go on and on about themselves?  They are sometimes known as a Prima Donna or Drama Queen.  You will not find arrogance or boastfulness in the daily movement of the seed planter.  All their thoughts are on building confidence in others in order for them to achieve their daily goals.  Their secret weapon for dealing with drama, arrogance, manipulation, and all the other negative characteristics that enter the daily work day is pure kindness.  They do not think of kindness as something to be done now and again.  They shower in it every morning in order to pass it along to others with every encounter.  It is their mode of operandi and they are determined and focused during the planting of seeds.

#2 Respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me, Aretha Franklin had it on lock down when she wrote this song.  This is something that must be at the core of an individual in order to reflect onto others.  You cannot respect someone else, unless you respect yourself first.  Did you hear that everyone?  You will never be able to handle yourself in a situation of discomfort if you do not take care of yourself and plant the seeds of personal respect before attempting to plant the seed of human respect.  It is one of those seeds that is highly contagious when coming from the depths of an individual’s soul.  These seed planters see you coming and they start sprinkling as you are walking down the hallway.  They know who needs a small amount and who needs the entire bucket.  When they are finished showering you with love, you will be whistling to the beat of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

#3 Steady

In movies, we are on the seat of our pants when characters like Lt. Daniel Kaffee pushes every button of Col. Nathan Jessup, A Few Good Men, to get him to the point of “You Can’t Handle The Truth!” These moments are critical in courtroom situations for diving deep into the souls of individuals for obtaining information that would otherwise never be obtained.  I will restate the beginning of the sentence, we like these characters in movies.  The office is no place for drama.  Successful leaders understand this clearly, as they are there to provide guidance to all of us followers so that we know how to row our boats each day.  A seed planter makes an incredible leader because there is no drama in their days.  They approach drama with a steady state of emotions that act like an anchor for themselves and those that are unable to during their moments of wavering emotions.

Secret Agent Woman Reminder to Us All

We are in the holiday season when everyone brings out their kindness bucket to spread love all around them.  I ask that you think of this young lady that walks everyday of her life with the seeds in hand ready to sprinkle on the next person encountered.  All of us carry different levels of burdens each day and you never know how much difference you can make in an individual’s life by simply being a little bit more kind.

Checklist of Seeds to Start Planting

  1. Be grateful
  2. Be encouraging
  3. Be nice to someone that rubs you the wrong way
  4. Be constructive in your criticism
  5. Always thank someone for doing something for you
  6. Ask someone to go to lunch with you
  7. Hold the door open for someone
  8. Grab the trash and help take it out
  9. Forgive a transgression by a co-worker
  10. Spread the love
  11. Please continue on and on and on…..sprinkle it forward!
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Comments

  1. It’s a rare and highly valuable person indeed who can be a seed planter and maintain the giving in a workplace environment consistently. Hats off to this lady. When you chat to someone you don’t really know at work (maybe a particularly quiet person) and make them smile, and the next time you see them, they are clearly pleased to see you, and they smile and say hello, it’s a wonderful feeling. If you do this with a bunch of people and all of a sudden a bunch of people are saying hello and smiling at you, it can be almost overwhelming. It’s well worth the effort. Hard to be down when you’re smiling or someone’s smiling at you. Enjoyed the post thanks. Peter McKelvie – Australia

    Reply
  2. She truly is an inspiration to know and work with each week. Being kind is very contagious and you are so right, almost overwhelming with responses. Glad you enjoyed.

    Monica Miller |
    Reply
    Monica Miller

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