There is power in kindness. It takes strength to remain calm within any storm. And being quiet while others grandstand and shout over one another to be heard is not a determination of meekness or ineptitude. But in business, when you are surrounded by type ‘A’ personalities who have been groomed to perform aggressively, silence is the quickest way to obscurity.
I am not overly quiet, but I don’t like to speak unless I actually have something worthwhile to say. I most certainly prefer meaningful conversations to small talk and platitudes. And I have been fighting this prejudice my whole life.
As a child, my type ‘A’ father pushed me to be different and for years, I tried. But eventually, I had to concede that I was working against my type and that it really is okay for me to be more comfortable shining behind the scenes rather than on-stage. Not everyone is meant to be “The Star” outside of their own lives. I dare say most of us even prefer our supporting roles on the world stage. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want or expect to be appreciated for our talents.
This week, my bosses discovered what happens when you fire (or reassign) all the copywriters: the ads don’t write themselves. Quel surprise! We may have looked like we didn’t add much value to the company when we were all quietly working away at producing simple but brilliant copy, yet the reality of it is just now effectively hitting their bottom line. Fortunately for them, I’m still here to help them out in a pinch.
All any of us truly wants is to be treated fairly and with kindness. With a smile, you have the power to transform someone’s day. And requests delivered with humble appreciation will more than likely produce better-than-expected results. We may be quiet. Most times, we may exist in the background. But at the end of the day, we all have vital roles to play and ultimately discounting anyone who operates differently does a disservice to everyone. Namaste.