20 Aug Kindness as a Competitive Advantage
One of the buzziest of buzzwords in business these days is ‘competitive advantage’. You’ll hear it bandied about in conferences, books, seminars… “What’s your competitive advantage?” some enthusiastic speaker will ask you, and you may pause. Is it your product? Is it your people? It is how you deliver the product to your customers? What ensures that your customers keep coming back to you instead of going to the other guy?
There are myriad of answers to that question – but we’d like to nominate another. Kindness.
That’s right, kindness as competitive advantage.
Not necessarily being ‘nice’ – because that’s not the same thing as being kind. Nice is often facile and shallow, kind is neither of those things. Being kind allows you to be firm, but gracious. It allows you to stand by your principles with unwavering belief, but also to acknowledge the humanity of those who disagree with you. Being a kind employer allows for there to be bending of the employee manual when it’s necessary, but never ‘just because’.
Forbes projects that by 2022, over half of business decisions will be made on how people feel, rather than on quantitative facts. Therefore, your organization’s behavior towards both its own people and others will become increasingly important. So, right now, we encourage you to make the decision to be kind. Make treating others with dignity as your competitive advantage. Make sure you have solid personnel policies that are clearly communicated. Ensure that your physical location is a safe environment to work in – both physically and psychologically. Lead with kindness and you won’t regret it.