environment of kindness and compassion that is lived out in daily actions, we see a happier workplace and improved productivity. Jonathan haidt, a researcher at new york university, discovered that watching a co- worker help another co-worker heightens one’s own sense of well-being and makes one more likely to behave with kindness towards others. Essentially, kindness begets kindness, and it can spread like wildﬁre. can you imagine the possibilities of such a workplace culture? Employees would not only help each other out, but they would also provide better customer service on their own accord, without prompting, which in turn helps the bottom line. Kindness isn’t just about giving things: it can also be about showing genuine interest in people. for instance, don’t just ask, “how are you doing today?” and then keep on walking. Stop, and listen for the answer. ask from a place of caring, “how can i help you today?” Try to envision things from that person’s perspective. Look for ways to oﬀer up generosity and then do it. Don’t postpone acts of kindness until things slow down or are less chaotic. There is never a better time than now. i suggest starting small, even if it is just with a smile. AMPLIFY STRENGTHS in his book, Standout, marcus Buckingham states that “sustained success comes only when you take what’s unique about you and ﬁgure out how to make it useful.” Do you know what makes your associates unique? What are their strengths, and how are they utilizing those in their role? remember strengths are not just what we are competent at; they are things that utilize a natural talent or gift and when we use them energize us. as leaders we “as leaders, we often make assumptions, but assumptions don’t help us create a culture of engagement.” 58 PULSE n march 2019 need to amplify our people’s strengths, not try to make them like everyone else. you might be able to replicate processes or procedures, but your people are unique masterpieces which means you need help them ﬂourish in their own unique way. Stop trying to create cookie- cutter connections and get to know what shapes your associates. What are their strengths, and what are their shadow sides—i.e. when their strengths are taken to the extreme? ADVANCE PEOPLE’S DREAMS The most engaged employees don’t work because they only love their company or their spa manager—they do it to advance a personal goal or dream. far too often we just see associates as a means to productivity and proﬁtability, but the real returns are to be had when we remember that It may seem strange, even impractical to help employees chase their dreams, but remember that RARE leaders don’t do the common thing.