Kind Interview Questions For Recruiting and Hiring

Quoted in: “10 of the Most Revealing Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates,” Spark Hire Human Resources Blog

[One of the most revealing job interview questions you can ask is] “Give me two or three examples of things you do to show kindness and consideration to your colleagues.”

Employers should focus on questions that reveal behavior and character. They should go above and beyond the skills for meeting the job requirements. That’s how you know your hire will mesh well with your team or company, rather than turning out to be a costly regret.

Questions like this help you assess how prospective hires see themselves in relationship to other people and specific circumstances. You can use them to spot the difference between people who are active, engaged problem-solvers and people who are passive and disengaged.

You can also be attentive to more than just the content of the answer, and focus on HOW they tell the story. Factors such as the way they describe themselves and the details they choose as relevant are a great indicator of how they might perform and what will matter to them if you hire them.

– Christopher G. Fox, founder, Kindness Communication

Guest Post: Why Kindness Keeps You Saner and More Engaged at Work

I’m so thrilled to see my thinking on kindness in the workplace featured today on Shola Richards’s The Positivity Solution. Shola’s a real leader in fostering positive outlooks and positive actions for better outcomes.

“Let’s take workplace engagement into our own hands by being intentionally kind to our colleagues at every point of contact. Because it’s hard to care about your job when you don’t care for each other.”

See more at: http://thepositivitysolution.com/kindness-keeps-you-sane/#sthash.kENyZakv.8nbFb6OW.dpuf

A Kind Approach To Unnecessary Apologies

Quoted in “Stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ at work,” CareerBuilder.com, 2015-04-25

Christopher G. Fox, founder of Kindness Communication, a new venture focusing on promoting kindness to achieve better results and greater focus in organizations, says that to stop the habit, you need to first be cognizant of it happening, and second, imagine yourself not saying it.

“If you know the topic of discussion in advance, rehearse stating your position without saying sorry a few times; say it out loud to yourself in the mirror at home the night before,” he suggests. “Finally, if you have a good ally in the mix often, ask her or him to be your ‘sorry buddy’ and point out to you after the fact that you’ve said it. It’s not just useful feedback afterwards. It also helps you feel accountable in the moment.”

A Kind Approach To Giving Staff Direction

Quoted in “23 Ways to Create a Better Work Environment,” Business News Daily, 2015-04-23

Rephrase instructions.

“Replace ‘You should’ with ‘Let’s’ when giving direction to staff who report to you and to your peers. It’s a simple but effective way to create a sense of shared mission. It works everywhere from big strategic plans to small projects. Once you create that mind-set, you can break the mission down into specific tasks and make it clear who is accountable for what. The result is a better, more engaged environment.” – Christopher G. Fox, founder, Kindness Communication

A Kind Tip For Better Emailing

In business email exchanges, always assume your recipient has the best intentions, whether you’re initiating the discussion or replying. It’s a matter of trust.

This is how people miss the mark about the common concern that emails do not convey tone well. Your hidden assumptions actually do come across, and your recipient will pick up on them.

If you assume conflict or difficulty when you are writing, or assume negativity when you are replying, those assumptions come out between the lines of what you say. But, managing your assumptions improves the professionalism and collegiality of your emails, and creates an undertone of trust that fosters positive dialogue.

Try it for a week, and see how much more constructive your emailing can be!

The Kind Approach To Meeting Madness

It’s absolutely possible to reduce the need for meetings if you focus on clarity and trust. In fact, it’s the kind thing to do. We all have tasks we have to complete and goals we want to reach. Meetings are an interruption. Let’s think with kindness about how to reduce the meeting madness.

A high-functioning team needs shared clarity on each of its members’ roles, and mutual trust that its members are empowered to do what they are accountable for doing. As a team, the time you invest upfront in establishing clarity and trust pays off. How? You all get back the time you would lose in every pointless daily or weekly status meeting that you allow yourself to avoid.

My rule of thumb is that you should almost never have a meeting unless you need the direct input of meeting participants to make a decision. Decisions and status updates can be communicated asynchronously, when team members understand each other’s roles and trust each other’s capacities.

​If it seems strange to think of meeting overload as a failure of kindness, consider the question this way. Many meetings are simply a proxy behavior that takes the place of action and decision making. This happens for two common reasons. One, organization: no one has clear enough accountability, so teams need to come to the table repeatedly to hash out ambiguous decision making. Two, leadership: consciously or unconsciously, a leader wishes to diffuse responsibility for uncertain outcomes by delaying them or multiplying the number of people involved.
When kindness becomes a key part of your interactions, these gaps go away, and the hidden pretext for proxy behaviors goes away. You and your colleagues can then come solidly back to acting and deciding.