Navigating Times of Change: Part I — Kindness | Sharpe Group
Posted April 12th, 2020

Navigating Times of Change: Part I — Kindness

This is Maggie, a licensed service dog who ensures a smile from everyone.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
— Michael Jackson (Man in the Mirror)

There are precious few times in our country’s history when everyone experiences a common event that produces forever memories—both good and bad. Two that come to mind are watching the U.S. men’s hockey team defeat Russia in the 1980 Olympics and seeing the plane hit one of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Even more rare are the times that our entire world shares an experience—this is one of those times.

We are probably all asking ourselves, “What can we do as human beings trying to navigate these times of change?” Specifically, what can we do as men and women whose careers are dedicated to working for our country’s nonprofit organizations and institutions where our common, overarching mission is to make the world a better place with our work, whether through education, social service, the environment, health care…the list goes on.

We are going to humbly try to tackle these questions here and in this series.

What Can We Do in the Here and Now?

We are in the midst of the “all hands on deck figuring out how to navigate the new work-from-home, school-at-home, be-at-home dynamic.” The psychology behind these changes is worth exploring in terms of the impact stress has on our ability to manage work space, school space, living space and, of all things, toilet paper shortages.

What Actually Works?


Studies have shown that kindness actually reduces stress and anxiety. The researchers found that people who performed daily acts of kindness were less likely to feel stressed. On days when they could not perform even the smallest act of kindness, they reported more stress and negativity.

Practicing kindness in the here and now is less likely to occur (except maybe in the grocery store) in a physical sense because of the need for social distancing. However, there are multiple ways to communicate kindness right now, such as:

  • Sending personal notes of gratitude to your donors telling them how much you value their past support.
  • Calling your donors to check on them—this is also an opportunity to thank them and listen to their needs during this difficult time.
  • Reconnecting with people, both personally and professionally, you may not have seen in years.
  • Taking time to thank your coworkers or sharing with them what they mean to you.

All these small acts of kindness demonstrate the sincere encouragement we all need right now. We hope you have found this helpful.

By Bob Mims, Sharpe Group CFO, and Tom Grimm, Sharpe Group Senior Consultant

Next up… Tips for Navigating These Times of Change With Your Staff.

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