Grateful Dad #43: Kindness in the Workplace

November 20, 2022

Kindness in the workplace will go a long way especially for employees who struggle silently.

I’m in my fifth month in my current company and I must say that it’s one of the best offices that I’ve worked with. It’s not perfect, of course, but it gives me the right balance of challenges to push me to work harder, mentoring from my supervisors so that I’ll know if I’m on track, and colleagues who are generally professional to work with. For a few days now, the resounding thought in my head, whenever I’m in the office, is that kindness in the workplace is possible after all.

Grateful for kindness in the Workplace

Grateful Dad #43: Kindness in the Workplace

You see, I’ve not always experienced kindness in the workplace. In fact, a friend and colleague in my previous company once pointed out that our boss seemed to be extra cross with me whenever I committed a mistake. Meanwhile, when it was them who made mistakes, my boss would just treat it like any other regular occurrence in the office – part of the job – since nobody’s perfect anyway.

For better context, here are specific examples:

  • I’ve been berated for writing slowly on a whiteboard (I’m left-handed as if that’s not obvious to them).
  • I’ve been called inefficient for not using the number keys on the right side of the keyboard (again, I’m left-handed).
  • I’ve been called out for eating breakfast in the office (only government employees do that, according to a former boss).
  • I’ve been scolded for talking slowly or having difficulty speaking (I stutter a little).
  • I’ve received hurtful words for not being fast enough (I do admit that I’m quite slow to adjust to situations and even learn things).
  • Even the way I looked became the subject of discussions (let’s admit it, good-looking people have all the luck in the workplace).

The list goes on, actually. Throughout those times when I had to deal with the temper of my bosses, I wished they’d just be kinder to me. I was left even more confused that time because I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling. It hadn’t occurred to me that I might have a hidden or undiagnosed disability, so to speak. All I knew was that I was a slow learner and that I might have a learning difficulty.

Just the same, a little kindness in the workplace (and even outside) would go a long way. After all, we don’t really know what a person is going through. A small encouragement could do wonders for a person who’s struggling – cheer them to carry on, let them know that they’re doing fine, and emphasize that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

It was very recently when I finally had to chance to work with people who knew empathy. In fact, I could say that it was only in the last seven years out of my 19 years of professional life that I’ve experienced kindness from my supervisors.

Now, I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to work with people who focus on the more important things and not on unnecessary issues. Finally, I may have the chance to thrive in the field that I love.

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