I had this subject somewhat covered, but it either got deleted or i didn’t finish it as i intended to. Sometimes you come back to things to view them once again and see whether they had been executed the right way.
Some time passed, and with that period you gain some objectivity and detachment. With that you can return better at writing the content once again and over again, complementing and adding to it. So, with the business concept “kindness”.
I think that kindness is a quality that is not that easy to find in business people. Translators don’t showcase it too often. This can be seen in their mails, the tone of their voice, the way they help you and answer your questions. When asking a question, do the really come back with an appropriate answer, do the approach the subject the right way, or just touch upon it very quickly and then go on about their rates not minding actually what the customer wants.
You certainly have to have an ear. The ability to listen and act on that. When a customer asks for a specific information, give him/her that. Don’t start with an information not required. Heaven forbid that you don’t answer his/her need for an information. That would mean neglecting the client. You might be lucky when that clients still sticks with you, but only because of the price. Unfortunately, price can be the biggest bait for the client. Everything else will be superfluous.
So why focus on kindness then? Simply because you want to be different. You may already be different and not have to add this quality to your service. Then it’s a God given thing and you may feel grateful for that. This is like empathy- you either have it or not. Maybe you can acquire it by consistent training, being very much self-conscious about that, but you must then always be on guard, not letting it evaporate at some point. Kindness must be there.
Kindness as a way of being
A female professional at Deloitte said exactly this:
“It’s not something I think about every day, quite frankly, it’s a way of being!”
And she is right to think so about kindness. I aim to embrace this trait as a postulate and as a way of being.
Another quality that goes towards professionalism: Going the extra mile. Kindness could be this extra mile, because it’s rare.
Gary Vaynerchuk stresses empathy a lot in his tweets. So much that he has Empathy as text on his wine bottles. He said that it is a quality in leaders and that it can be found there in them. I then tweeted back that I don’t agree, that empathy is rare. He then answered: Not if you look closely. I remained unchanged in my opinion. This fueled a debate on Twitter among his followers. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow this it through. MAybe i should have. I just threw a bait, although i mirrored my belief.
So, be kind and also have empathy. Don’t expect gratification. Just be that.