We return to Tri Delta’s popular 3 for You series with Tri Delta alumnae Alison French, Cornell, and Stephanie Hubka, Carnegie Mellon. They are the creators of the “Won’t You Be…” series of learning experiences, including “Won’t You Be My Trainer” and “Won’t You be My Manager,” based on the teachings of Mr. Rogers. Theyshare how the simple teachings of Mr. Rogers can elevate kindness in the workplace, to our lives and worlds. Read more below, watch the full video, or listen to their interview on our Let’s Talk Tri Delta Podcast.
Alison French and Stephanie Hubka are on a mission to spread kindness through educating managers, trainers, team members, and volunteers on how to apply the simple yet powerful techniques of Mr. Rogers in their day-to-day work.
We’ve never needed kindness more than we do today. Kindness looks different for everyone—it looks different at home and at work—but kindness is at the center of how we should be working with people. Alison and Stephanie share their three tips for bringing kindness into the workplace.
Tip #1 Remember to play
Mr. Rogers called “play” the work of childhood, but we don’t think of play as adults. We’re so busy “adulting” that we push it aside. In reality, play does a lot of good things for our brains. If you inject some fun and play, it gives your brain a chance to reset. Think about how you can incorporate elements of play into a meeting—sometimes it’s just sharing stories and laughing about something together. Sometimes it’s having a fun poll about what you’re binging on Netflix.
It’s ok to have fun—we don’t have to be all business all the time. Remember that sharing connections is a form of play, and it inspires creativity and innovation. It lets us be silly and be vulnerable, but it helps our mental health to do that.
Tip #2 Appreciate silent moments
The world we live in right now is very noisy, with so many people competing for our attention.
The challenge with noise is that a lot of our processing doesn’t happen successfully when we are struggling to figure out what space we need to process and use information. We need moments of silence to process new ideas, challenges and information. At work, it’s especially hard to do that. Before the pandemic you’d be sitting at your office with people knocking on your door or coming over to your desk—there were a lot of distractions and disruptions, and those have not gone away for us in our new environment.
We need to take silent moments for ourselves so we can process, reflect and figure out what we’re doing and how we’re going to use new information as we carry ourselves into all the other activities that are going to need our mental bandwidth. Good work is happening in the quiet moments.
Tip #3 Love what you do
Find something that you love about your work, whether it’s a part of the work you do or a conversation you’ve had. Use that silence and mindfulness to focus on what it is about what you do that you love. When you can hone in on that, then it spreads. If you can focus on what you love, other people can see that too. Even if you don’t love everything you do, take those moments of silence to figure out what are the things you love and are grateful for. Love is kind: it ties into joy, optimism, and reminds us of how we are connected to our work and each other.