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When You're Smiling (Cue a Song!) - The Things That Made You Smile

“When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you”. Last year I wrote a blog about this just before Christmas, and then in November this year I asked you what makes you smile?

It's been lovely to hear from so many of you that it was, in fact, other people in your lives that make you smile!
 
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It was people who made a difference; some of whom you knew, some you didn’t know at all! Regardless; they showed they cared with acts of kindness, and those acts of kindness didn’t have to be something big. What people did was reach out; they actually did something - they called you up; sent you an email, a text, a funny WhatsApp message, an unexpected gift in the post.

According to Aparna Labroo, a Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School, the learning here is to “stop imagining activities and get out there and do them”. Labroo states that when we're in a bad mood it's difficult to simulate the experience of doing something enjoyable - and we attribute the difficulty of simulating it to the enjoyable activity itself!

The act of kindness in a year of chaos was that people stopped and turned their attention to others. We're social creatures; we want to be part of a group. It's the relatedness in David Rock’s SCARF model. It serves our basic human needs of safety, affiliation and uncertainty reduction.
 
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People showed empathy and compassion; a desire to help. The Oxford English Dictionary defines compassion as "the feeling or emotion when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it". In doing so, they were courageous to show their own vulnerability and be human - something I have always tried to live by. We began to see this direction being taken in some organisations even before COVID-19 struck, however the virus came along to underline the point and put it in bold!

Many people have suffered terribly as a result of the pandemic; losing family members and friends, falling ill themselves; suffering mentally and physically from loneliness, financial distress, and abusive relationships... however, it is these acts of kindness and compassion that will win through!

Realise that, as an individual, manager, or leader, compassion matters now more than ever; 
Aspire to be sensitive to the needs of others at work and in life, and;
Do take action, reach out, and continue to be mindful of your actions and how you come across to others.

Blog Posts

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    “When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you”. Last year I wrote a blog about this just before Christmas, and then in November this year I asked you what makes you smile? It's been lovely to hear from so many of you that it was, in fact, other people in your lives that make you smile!
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    This year has been a very different year compared to most. My end-of-year message to my wonderful clients, partners and followers is usually where I quote a Christmas song, but this year I've decided to include one of my favourite songs which I feel depicts 2020 and how many people have been.
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    Today more than ever, we are all operating in an uncertain world. How you motivate and sustain people through change and transformation during this time could be the difference between having engaged employees that will eventually make for a successful transformation or not.