Merge's Blog

Workplace lessons from the COVID contagion of kindness

As devastating and difficult as the COVID-19 world has been, the one seemingly silver lining to emerge from this pandemic is the contagion of kindness. Countless acts of generosity and thoughtfulness abound, and it has become increasingly evident that being kind is synonymous with strength and courage. Which is ironic. The world of work has usually viewed kindness differently, through the lens of weakness and naivety. Workplace norms often translate friendly, generous and considerate behaviour to mean one is indecisive or a pushover. While blunt, arrogant and curt often unfortunately implies results and profitability. This, of course, is unequivocally false.

Genuine kindness can often do more to further your career than your exceptional work ethic, or your results-focused determination, or your dogged persistence. Doing good work will always be a necessary baseline for your success, but it is your kindness – your empathy, your open-mindedness, and your treating others with respect – that will carry you further, faster. When you are kind, you build strong relationships that will stand firm in the years to come. So what are the workplace lessons that we can extract from the kindness pandemic that is currently afoot? I answer that question in my latest column in The Globe and Mail, published online yesterday, and due to go to print tomorrow.

Five ways being a kind person can help your career

If you’re a paid online subscriber to The Globe, here is a direct link to the column on their site:

I’d love to hear about your experiences with kindness in our pandemic world. Have you seen it increase? Do you think it will continue as people and organizations get back to work? Tell me and everyone else what you think, by adding your comment below.

I write a regular monthly column for The Globe and Mail Report on Business, under the banner of Leadership Matters. Here are links to some of the more recent ones:


  • Kindness was very obvious as soon as the pandemic hit. Now that we’re re-opening services etc. it seems we’re going back to the way we were. Very sad actually

    • Ugh! I too am so sad to hear this Caroline. Kindness can be such a competitive advantage in the world of work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.