Does Being Kind Pay Off?

Science says that acts of kindness pay off by making us feel better and healthier. This is hardwired into our social DNA because it stems from way back when humans were living in tribes. Being kind to others in the tribe increased the odds of survival for the tribe.

Recent research at the University of California Riverside has shown that people who were kind to others became happier and more connected than those who were kind to themselves. In another study several years ago, a researcher divided college students into two groups and gave each student $100. He told one group to buy presents for themselves, and the other group to buy presents for others, including people they did not know. The second group felt better about themselves and was much more socially connected.

I invite you to test this for yourself. For two weeks, do three acts of kindness per week for yourself. Then for the next two weeks, do three acts of kindness per week for others.

If this is indeed true, how can you use this in your organization? What would happen if staff meetings or team meetings started by explaining this research and encouraging each person to do acts of kindness for others, both inside and outside the workplace? What would happen to employee engagement? What would happen to creativity? What would happen to productivity? What might happen to the dynamics in meetings – would people be more willing to work together instead of disagreeing and digging into their positions?

You can read the Associated Press article at

I welcome your feedback

Gary Langenwalter

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