Today I would like to have a conversation about "the most important skill." In reality, what that is is purely subjective.
I'm going to get right to the point. The most important skill you can have in any job or profession is kindness.
What is Kindness?
Kindness is being considerate and engaged. It is being concerned and invested in the well being and growth of yourself and others. It has no elements of selfishness and is something I find to be a core feature of human nature. We all embrace our kindness in different ways and to varying levels, but that doesn't make any one person better than or worse than someone else.
Pay attention to when your colleagues are struggling or asking questions. Check in with the teammates you work closely with. These actions build a sense of trust and will help you form a more cohesive and collaborative team.
Commend your teammates when they achieve something, no matter the scale of their success. Kind words and affirmation are the building blocks of continued success. The next time your teammate finishes a feature, congratulate them!
Be there for the failures as well. We learn valuable lessons from failures, and they should be seen as learning opportunities, not weapons to tear others down. In any case, failure is tough to deal with, and having the willingness to talk through those failures inspires courage and helps us become more well-rounded individuals.
(This one takes courage and is not easy) Point out when someone has done something that hurt someone else in some way. Share your feedback on how that made you, and how it could have possibly made someone else feel. Explain how you think the situation could be rectified.
Finally, never forget to be kind to yourself. Don't take on that side project if you don't feel like you have the bandwidth to do so, unless you need to do it for financial reasons. Don't force yourself to work extra hours because you think you owe it someone, again, unless your finances dictate it is necessary. If you can, don't deny yourself breaks and vacations from your work. Be honest with yourself at every turn.
Top comments (5)
Kindness truly is something that makes a difference:
To work with someone "stoic" (please allow me the improper use of the term) can be tiring and to work with someone lacking kindness be it commending each other, not imposing his/her ideas without considering others's or speaking in a regular tone can be humiliating/super stressful... and counter-productive!
So let's remember we all are humans :)
Great post, thank you Jonathan! It makes me think of the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. Well worth reading if you haven't already -- I found it very uplifting.
So true! It's easier to be kind to others when you're also kind to yourself. Of course, that in itself isn't easy ...
Thanks Johnathan, for the great post on something we can all so easily overlook during a busy and stressful day developing. Your thoughts have reminded me that we are all people and in a team we are all in it together.
Excellent advice. 😀
what a great post!