I have been thinking about the word, “Kindness” a lot lately.
We teach our children to be kind to others, or at least I do. We hear it made into days like, “Random Acts of Kindness” day or in slogans such as, “Kill them with Kindness”. All my life I’ve seen the signs; bumper stickers, highway billboards and even on VCR tapes, “Be Kind, Please Rewind!”. Everywhere you look, a reminder to be kind!
Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

1. the state or quality of being kind.
2. a kind act; favour.
3. kind behaviour.
4. friendly feeling; liking.
Synonyms: benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity, sympathy, compassion, tenderness.

But what does KINDNESS actually look like in the business world?
I have met some pretty mean people in business; blogging, banking, church. etc. You name it, they’re there. People who will do anything and climb over anyone to get to the top. People who smile at you while sticking the knife into your back. I hate to say it too but this seems to be especially true of WOMEN! There is a misnomer out there that when it comes to the workforce, “good girls finish last!”
Stephanie Smirnov, President and Chief Creative Officer of DeVries Public Relations and writer of “Like the Vodka” spoke during a business session at the BlissDom Conference last week. Her topic… “LIKEABILITY 2.0: Women, Influence and the Social Web.”
She made us think with questions like, “Can you be nice without surrendering your effectiveness?” and “Is being likeable the same as being popular?”
She listed a couple very powerful women in the business world who were mean and not liked at all and some who were very successful, approachable and loved.
Don’t believe the lie that tough = strong.
In the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada”, Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly, perpetuates the notion that in order to be a successful woman in the business world, you need to be a cold-hearted snake. Unreasonable, unkind, uncaring, and unapproachable! Any other un-words you wish to throw in there? We are only allowed to see small glimpses of vulnerability and likeabilty.
Stephanie gave us the example of Donna Karan, American fashion designer {DKNY}, the epitome of all things likeable. She is a strong, powerful and highly respected business women whose, “proof is in the pudding” that she is real and approachable. It’s true, she proved it… you CAN be nice AND be effective!
She left us with a few good nuggets to chew on! Here’s just one; appeal + talent + audience that cares = INFLUENCE.
That’s what I want to be when I grow up. Influential because not only do I have appeal and talent but I CARE and those working with me, or for me, or merely just observing me, have no doubt about it!
This also makes me want to hang around with those who possess these same characteristics, whether it’s with deep friendships or people I do business with. The Bible says, “Iron sharpens Iron.” What others have will rub off on me and will either bring me down or improve me. If people are nasty, conniving, inconsistent, etc… I do not want them influencing my life or my business in any way, shape or form. What help or success they may bring you will only be temporary.

I don’t know how much more I can stress this… align yourself with GOOD people!

I chose to surround myself with those who have not lost their grip on kindness, love and loyalty. I will work with those who have earned a reputation for living well. In choosing to live and work this way, I know I will succeed. It may take a little bit longer… but it will be worth it!

Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. ~ Proverbs 3:3 (MSG}


Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
finds life itself—glorious life! ~ Proverbs 21:21 {MSG}


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. Sounds like Blissdom addressed some good issues. Thanks for sharing with those of us who couldn't be there. I liked this post very much.

  2. Great post! I'm a strong believer n karma. I didn't get to catch this session but the speaker brought up some great points.

  3. BE KIND is a little bit of a motto for me and applies in every situation in all facets of life. It's really hard when you are a teen or young adult to align yourself with the right people, you can get stuck being friends with people that maybe aren't the best for you but I love that as an adult it's easier to break away and lead your own life and choose your own path and friends freely.

  4. What a great post! I agree that it sometimes seems that women are especially prone to being seen as backstabbers or as "doing anything to succeed," but I sometimes wonder how much of that is more perception than reality.

    Of course there are women with that attitude (just as there are men with that attitude), but I don't really think I believe that MOST women are like that. I think it's more that advertizing, television and movies tend to portray women that way and make it seem as if that is the way most women act.

    Either that, or I've just been incredibly lucky to always encounter such wonderful, supportive and caring women!

  5. I like that formula for influence. I missed this session, so I'm glad to read a bit about it!

  6. It was nice to meet you at Blissdom and I couldn't agree more. I've really enjoyed blogging so far because everyone I have met has been so kind. I'm sure there are those who are not but it's refreshing to meet so many other ladies who want to encourage, and inspire each other rather than compete or use unkind methods to get ahead.

  7. It sounds like it was a great session, lots of great points made there. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Great post, thanks for sharing. I can't wait till I can get to a conference!

  9. Can I get an AMEN!!! For too long I watched people around me stepping upon one another to get higher, now I step away and remain secure in my faith and my efforts to help others.

    Shannon you are a gem, your heart is so kind and I thank God I've met you.

  10. Kindness is never a mistake. A true heart will always win out in the end, in the ways that really count.

  11. Love this Shannon! We all need to remember to treat others the way we would want to be treated. Thank you for sharing what you learned at Blissdom with us.

  12. Yes! I am a believer of "do to others as you would have done to you" terms. Great post it sounds like Blissdom was an amazing learning experience!

  13. I recently was president of the board here at our co-op until a woman did everything she could to go behind my back, get me out, make up lies about me and even involved my children by involving others. I quit the board. I saw her a week later, a catty smile on her lips, snickering with others as we stood to get some food (delivered to us) because many of us are low income families. I picked up a loaf of bread and walked straight up to her and handed her a loaf. I smiled at her. Said a few nice words and left. Everyone (all friends) told me later she was speechless, didn't know what to say. I thought to myself. Good! Sometimes being kind when you want to punch someone in the chops and make them pay for hurting you can you give you back the power you need to move on and let things go.

    Great blog post. I totally enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing it!

  14. I absolutley love your post! I agree with being kind even in the face of anger, adversity and disdain.
    I do find that in my experience, people (not just women) are skeptical of people that are kind, always happy and willing to help out with no strings attached. I'm overjoyed that I've met (even if not in real life) some amazing women on blogs and twitter that it restores some of my faith that you can be kind and people will accept it as simply that.

  15. Kindness is always worth it, even when it doesn't pay off immediatetly ~ even when it's hard and thankless. It's a higher way of living. It grows your heart as much as the person receiving it.

  16. Well said, Shash!

    I agree, women can be awful, and I always hope I'm never seen as one of THOSE women. Power is overrated in the long run, since it's only ever temporary… It's the caring and the heart that matters most because that lasts!

    I appreciated this post so much!

    ~ Raylene

  17. FANTASTIC post!
    the wheels are turning in my head, but i'm just not good with words…

  18. "People who smile at you while sticking the knife into your back" hate that…..

    Being nice isn't mean, it takes more brain thought and complexity to actually be mean… but to some people, it's worth it.

    What is this world coming to?

  19. Jennifer Birnstihl @gemini_momma

    I LOVE this post Shannon! I heard someone on TV recently say that it's so much easier to be kind and a lot more work to be mean, and it really struck a chord with me.

    It's kind of baffling to think that someone would go that extra mile to be unkind…

    I'll choose kindness any day!

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