“I stand up for kindness.” — Oprah
When was the last time you received a gift of kindness? What was your last random act of kindness?
Recently I was gifted with an unexpected red rose. I am a lover of flowers. I am touched by its simple beauty. As it begins to unfold before me – I feel a wave of warmth move through my body each time I look at it. I am inspired by this kind gift to pay it forward. Apparently I am not alone.
One act of kindness creates four more, according to Laurie Flasko, who challenges us to imagine the possibilities if everyone were just a little more kind. Laurie was the keynote speaker at a recent Regional Tourism Ontario Tourism Partner Party hosted by Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development and Tourism.
As the President and Founder of Laurie Flasko & Associates, Inc. (LFA), Laurie has been providing innovative business solutions to her clients for more than fifteen years and has helped companies build service cultures that deliver outstanding business results. Laurie is a sought-after trainer, professional business coach, and keynote speaker. At this event, her remarks focussed on the business of kindness.
She began with a personal story about a time when the absence of kindness created crisis for her family. Her daughter, then 13 and in Grade 8, was the target of cruel and relentless bullying. The experience, shared Laurie, resulted in ‘5 years of darkness’ for her family. Ultimately counselling and other support helped her daughter move beyond the cruelty and is now thriving as a young adult.
Laurie chronicled their story of torment, trauma and healing in a book called Bullying Is Not a Game: A Parent’s Survival Guide. In it, she and co-author Julie Christiansen share practical advice and tips for parents on how to ‘get through and survive.’
“Kindness can be tough,” she said. Here’s why:
- 1 in 3 are bullied in school
- 23% of employees experience workplace harassment
- 1 in 4 are being treated for workplace stress
- 70% of employees are not engaged in their workplace.
“We are searching for happiness. Kindness is the anecdote for increasing happiness, productivity and impact on your business. Kindness drives culture and pays big dividends.” She calls it the ‘kindness advantage.’
Here are Laurie’s Special K’s for Kindness:
K=Kinesthetic : She noted the importance of touch and connection, sharing that 5 hugs a day can improve your emotional health.
I = Imaginative: She challenged us to tap into our imagination to create a wave of kindness around us.
N = Neighbourly: She encouraged us to invite our neighbours to spread and promote kindness, while supporting each other.
D = Deliberate: She suggested we each set a goal for acts of kindness and watch how the world around you becomes a better place. “5 acts of kindness per week for six weeks will boost your happiness by 60%,” she claimed.
So this is a shout out to Laurie Flasko and others like her whose random acts of kindness make the world a better place, creating joy and hope in what’s possible.
“May you feel safe, may you feel happy, may you feel healthy, and may you live with ease.” – Laurie Flasko
About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses and humans together to explore new possibilities, getting you out of your comfort zone and giving clarity of voice to your leader within. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in communications, cause-related marketing and change management. As a strategist, facilitator and effectiveness coach, Jennifer has provided counsel and support to senior leaders from all walks of life to build productive relationships, facilitate learning and to embrace change. She is a ‘socialpreneur’ who values the art of living life fully with intent.
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