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Kindness + Business

Why the Kindness Connection at Work

 So how does an organization, or better yet, the individual leader, make the leap to tabling the word “kindness” at work without being ridiculed out of the room, perceived as someone who is more interested in promoting those things considered “light and fluffy” than the crucial bottom line? Kindness, in my opinion, goes to the heart of the matter.

Our society is built on a foundation of many different types of relationships, which connect individuals to families, friends, work colleagues, communities, countries and our global community. From the playgrounds to the boardroom and into our courtrooms, relationships are at the very heart of our challenges as well as our solutions both personally and professionally. The way we affect each other relates to the quality of our interactions and ultimately determines the health, well-being and success of our employees and our society as a whole.

Leadership is all about relationships, and no matter how hard a leader may try to ignore the fact that their team members are bringing their personal lives to work, the reality is that they cannot be expected to leave a part of who they are in the parking lot. Although this has been the trend for most of our careers, it no longer will fly in the face of the new generations entering the workplace, and the older baby boomers are finally saying enough is enough. Together we will see the workplace take a positive and constructive turn over next few years as the issue of life/work balance comes to the forefront as a recruitment and retention tool.

Kindness is a simple concept — too simple, one might be inclined to think, to provide a solution to the complex and serious challenges we face daily in work, and our growing propensity toward overt and covert workplace violence. However, it is precisely this simplicity that allows kindness such power and magnitude to affect change at all levels within individuals and organizations. Promoting kindness in the workplace as a core value only strengthens the foundations of our businesses

We all know what it means to be kind — how it feels to be the recipient of a kind act — and the rewards of committing a random act of kindness upon another human being. It does not take days of training seminars or piles of manuals to teach people how to be kind to one another. Kindness is something that each and every person knows how to do and can appreciate across all cultures, religions, genders and age barriers.


Writings and Change Tools by Olivia McIvor

McIvor, Olivia.  Turning Compassion into Action (Fairwinds, 2013). 

Compassion is not a commodity; you can't trade it on the stock market, it does not come with an expiration date, nor is it of limited supply, therefore, you cannot lose it when you use it.  ~Olivia McIvor

What do 35 years of leadership experience, 5 years of research, a trip to India and 20,000 people have in common? ...a confirmation that every one of us is responsible to reach out and put our compassion into action. Whether you are a parent proudly wading through the teen years, a leader dedicated to genuine service, a passionate community volunteer, or anyone who believes that actively giving of yourself changes the world…then this book is for you.

Mcivor, Olivia. The Business of Kindness (Fairwinds Press, 2006).

The Business of Kindness raises self-awareness and personal accountability for the development of a respectful and caring workplace culture. In this book, you will learn and practice the 12 Character Building Traits which when consciously applied and woven into the organizational fabric will create a positive, productive and profitable work environment. This is the book Olivia McIvor’s healthcare culture change programs such as “Contagious Kindness” and “Compassion In Action” are modeled after!

McIvor, Olivia.  The Charter Building Card Series (2009)

This set of 16 Character Building Cards is an active supplement to the book The Business of Kindness by Olivia McIvor. It was created as a quick reference tool to assist individuals in easily putting into practice the tools discussed in her bestselling book “The Business of Kindness: creating environments where people thrive." These 16 cards provide tools and practices that will assist with creating a kinder life, a kinder wokrplace and a kinder world. Kindness to Oneself. Kindness to Colleagues. Kindness in the Community. Focusing on over 80 ways to be kinder to oneself, within one’s workplace and within one’s community.

McIvor, Olivia. The Kindness Journal: Twelve Ways to Bring More Kindness into Your Life & Work (Fairwinds Press, 2010)

Kindness-when one being demonstrates benevolence, thoughtfulness and gentleness towards another. Kindness, depending on the situation or circumstance, may not always be an easy emotion to feel or an action easily delivered. This life and workplace guide  is filled with ways to intentionally deliver kindness in our busy and hectic lives and workplaces.

Mc Ivor, Olivia. Four Generations One Workplace: Sharing in the information age (Fairwinds Press, 2010)

Four Generations One Workplace takes a look at the unique groups of people within our workplaces today. This well researched book takes us on a journey to better understand the intricacies and dynamics of the four generations influencing and shaping our work world. (Pre-Boomers, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y)

Written by human resources expert Olivia McIvor and filled with her classic educator style. She is entertaining and always witty about these four groups of individuals influencing, enhancing and challenging workplaces across North America.

Olivia McIvor has spent the past 11 years researching the very things that have imprinted each generation. She marked generational indicators that were created by upbringing, teen influences, as well as family, social and political molders that have crafted the adults of today. The book’s tenants are that each generation has attributes that stand strong and are definably different than the next; however we influence each other, enhance each other and can learn from each other. This book will help you encourage understanding and positive dialogue between the generations.

McIvor, Olivia. The Generational Ah-Ha Cards (2010)

These cards were originally created as a useful tool for training session and group change programs. There are 25 in a pack. Use them with extended family or with team and work groups.


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