I know people are busy. We are all busy, but that shouldn't be an excuse for not responding or for not being kind... right? There are plenty of busy people who have created systems to make sure their communications are timely and courteous.
But this isn't really about email. The bigger topic that's been on my mind lately is the relationship between business and kindness.
Do being kind and being successful have to be mutually exclusive? I don't think so. In fact, I think kindness is often the key to building relationships—and in turn, building a business.
These thoughts first started when I read Megan's interview on Viva Bang Bang. In the post, she says, "Be nice. It gets you further than you think." That quote jumped out to me because I've found that some of my most successful business relationships have been built on a genuine sense of respect and kindness. (I mean, who has the time or energy to be a "mean girl"? Is it worth it?)
On the other hand, I'm often cautioned about being "too nice." This week's Design*Sponge Biz Ladies post addressed the debate "How Nice is Too Nice?" As a business owner, I know it's important to be firm and not give my services away, but those communications can still be kind.
Yes, it's business, not personal. But when you're a small business, that line gets blurry sometimes. You are who you are, and yet, you also represent your company and brand. Good customer (or client or collaborator) service goes a long way.
To me, being kind is about being respectful, keeping an open mind, thinking of others' perspectives, finding solutions, collaborating, and going above and beyond. And I don't think that's bad for business.
What do you all think? How important is being kind in the business realm?