Updated: Oct 12, 2020
As we continue from the Four Means of Embracing mini-series, we continue to explore the second means of embracing: Kind words. Speaking kind words is important on many levels. First, our mode of communication with people is language. Even though you may communicate through e-mails remotely, you still have to use language to communicate. Therefore, knowing how to speak is an art (No wonder people pay to learn how to speak!). Second, words are very powerful. If you have heard of the phrase, 'the pen is mightier than the sword', then you would know that communication is powerful. What you say can stay with a person for life. Therefore we must watch what we say at all times.
Speaking kind words may come easy to somebody, but it is difficult for some. Some may think that speaking kind words is randomly praising somebody using catchphrase found off the internet. However, this is not true. Such flattery does not get at anything as they are empty words; they do not come from the heart, nor are they spoken sincerely with compassion and wisdom. Kind words should be gentle, sincere, and harmonious. These words should be said to, for example, inspire others to strive to be better, lift them up, and give them hope.
Therefore, one should have a keen observation of the circumstances in order to say what the party needed to hear at that time. This takes skill and practice. Therefore, it is an art to know how to speak with compassion. In an example situation, when a colleague of yours leaves the microwave open and office lights on overnight, you can show concern for the colleague by saying, "Remember to have proper dinner and not microwavable quick meals if you're staying late at night."
There are many ways to speak kind words to others. Do not be afraid to have the courage to speak out; it takes practice and mistakes to know what is right at that time. The more you speak, the more people will connect with you, and the more you will understand them and choose the appropriate things to say at that moment. Hence it comes back in a loop. Between family members, you can tell them how much you appreciate them having to give in to you at times or appreciate how much you can still have meals with them. Between friends, let them know how thankful you are for always having your back. Between superiors and subordinates, thank them for how hard they work to keep the team in good shape. Between colleagues, let them know how grateful you are for working with them and learning so much and growing together.
The above are just examples. Of course, there are more than I can share, but more importantly, it has to come from the heart. Your sincerity is all that matters. With a pure heart, you can be grateful for even small things, and that will lift their spirits up. It will inspire, motivate, and change people in unimaginable ways. That is the power of kind words.