The Abs of Culture: The ABC’s of Culture and Business

Here are ways to strengthen culture at its core.

A — Acceptance.

Unless you are working at home, chances are you are working with other people. People are all different and while you might get along with most, there are people who just don’t fit the mold set by others. It is easy for bullying to occur or to push these people out of “the circle” of acceptance from the majority. The reason may be diversity, creed, age, sexuality, intellect or any other difference – either they are the “new kid on the block” to the group or they have “been there for too long”. Whatever it may be, if you are committed to working together, you’ll have to find a way to make allowances and that means finding empathy in understanding differences and focusing on common ground.

B —Building Up.

What kind of work environment can survive with negativity and tearing down? Everyone likes to be told they did a good job and be appreciated. It is easy to get so focused on projects that the simplest phrases of appreciation and compliments might never be said.  Make a point to tell those you work with “Thank you!” or “I appreciate that you did that!” or “It really made a difference!” more often. Look them in the eye when you express a compliment. Be sincere. Send a word of thanks by email that is really meant. These can go a long way in building morale in the work environment.

C — Consideration of Others.

In today’s culture of “me-ism” the importance of self naturally spills over into the workplace. Instead of being considerate of others on the team, it is easy to only focus on how any task or expectation might impact you. Instead of seeing how something might inconvenience you, see how you can make someone else’s job easier. Maybe it is preparing a little more thoroughly for a meeting in advance. Perhaps it is completing your work earlier than expected for the next stage in the process. Instead of being project related, maybe it means dressing nicely for work, practicing good hygiene, smiling and having a positive spirit, or always appreciating others rather than finding what you don’t like about them.

Sitting up to improving culture in the workplace?

When you practice kindness in the workplace, the culture at work changes over time to one with a solid core group of people. Increased productivity. More pleasant interactions. Happier overall job satisfaction. Less turnover.

Spring Into Kindness—At work.

—Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness

Did you know that…“Positive culture is a vital aspect of running a business–more than 50% of executives say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value, and growth rates. These corporate culture statistics outline how important culture is in attracting, retaining, and satisfying employees.”


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Kindness at Work: Extending Beyond the Work Cube

Deadlines to meet and schedules to adhere to— there can be little time to know fellow co-workers other than a quick “hello”. You might know a few basic facts, like Ralph goes home and like to watch the NFL game and have his buddies over occasionally. Or that Susan is trying to get her kid into the band next year to play tuba rather than piccolo. Or Katie has a reoccurring allergy which is causing all sorts of phone calls to get the carpet washed, drapes vacuumed, and her prized possession, her Sheep Dog, scheduled for his weekly hair dressing appointment. Most of this you overhear as you hide behind your cube wall, keeping busy with the projects you have to do. But when was the last time you made time to find out the reason your co-worker is so frazzled after coming in to work late? Or near tears because the deadline is approaching and despite all the hard work, it is not going all as planned after all. Taking time to observe personal issues, within reason, and reacting to them adds warmth and humanity to what can become a cold office of strangers.

Add to refilling the coffee in your cup with a couple of minutes of conversation with a nearby co-worker. Ask how he or she is doing—it might just make a difference at the next conference meeting when you’re battling over decisions for the vendor for the next project. Speaking of wrestling, maybe it’s time to call it a tie with some of the little office nuances that irk people like leaving the coffee filter in the coffee pot overnight, or coming in late with the editorial, or not leaving time to check everything before someone calls the shots that the project is in overtime already.

Office environments which welcome a pace that allows for a little bit of time for personal interactions, helps alleviate tensions which can easily become part of the workplace. By extending a few more compliments, offering words of empathy, and being more thoughtful and considerate, the office work environment transforms, springing back with a refreshed team spirit. Laugh if you want. Some of that is good too!

Kindness at work.

—Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness

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Spring Into Kindness: International Reach

As a country that has access to the best resources, it is easy to take for granted being able to purchase almost anything we need or want at any time. With rows of brands of the same type of item in supermarkets, we have a wide selection to choose from, and within a reasonable price range—granted, not when under national emergency crisis, but even still there are options. With the convenience of having a gas station or major retail store within a few miles, if not on every corner, shopping is a natural part of everyday life. We don’t think much of spending or spending spontaneously to buy items when we are so inclined. In fact, most of what is purchased is what entices us rather than what we need to get by. Waving the flag of consumerism based on capitalism, not every country is as fortunate. Many people in the United States do not consider how stretching a little by chiseling micro-luxuries from everyday expenditures can substantially make a difference in the life of another. Donating to help another person’s life in an impoverished country which does not have these options, let alone the resources available, can bring relief.

There are plenty of organizations which have the specific mission to assist those in other countries. Supplying food is probably one of the top philanthropical missions of international non-profits, but other organizations help assist with housing, building, and other missionary efforts. One of the best ways to get first-hand experience with how others in the world live is to join a group traveling to another country with a mission to lend-a-hand. Many organizations such as Peace Corp, UNICEF, World Vision, Love the Children, and others service other countries in the world. Churches organize mission trips which you can be part of to travel overseas and help within 3rd world communities. Take the risk and have your eyes opened with a fresh view of all we have and the ease we have to obtain what we need. Pulling away from everyday life here in the United States which we are accustomed to and experiencing places which may not have food, water, electricity, or clothing resources as we have, will create an awareness to the daily life of others in the world with their attitudes and outlook. It also generates a new set of eyes for those who are lacking resources in our very own communities with a new understanding of survival and what assistance can be provided.

Global efforts around the world are just as diversified as the people they serve. There are organizations for the environment, social change, children, special needs, women, business leaders, and other world-wide revolutionary efforts.

For More Information:

Download a List of Top 100 Non-Profits found online to research for more information

As you put your action plan together to spring into kindness this Spring, consider ways you can donate, volunteer remotely, and ways you can travel abroad to help. Giving a few dollars a month to fund world-wide charity organizations can make a significant difference in providing a daily meal for someone. What could be more interesting than using your talents abroad helping in person! If you haven’t had the chance to travel abroad with a non-profit to help others, consider researching options and plan an adventure this year to spread your kindness across the globe. Make a difference. Reach and spring this Spring, with kindness.

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Spring Into Kindness: Cross Country

Who’s in the running when it comes to top non-profit organizations in the United States? With all having different missions, there are plenty to choose from to get involved with or donate to. Tie your shoelaces and see what is available to bring kindness ‘cross the country…

With what time you have to give, there are plenty of opportunities for a person to volunteer locally within the community. Assisting with the homeowner’s association, a bake sale, helping a neighbor, joining a volunteer effort at work, an organization at church, at a local library or hospital, or being on the PTA are just a few ways to volunteer. For those who want to be part of a larger organization, there are non-profit organizations which benefit special interests such as American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the North Texas Food Bank, Children’s Health, The Salvation Army, Dallas Life Foundation, Catholic Charities or others. In addition to volunteering in person, many of these organizations have ways a person can contribute financially or by donate to without much time commitment.

Volunteering remotely is possible working from the comfort of your home. There are organizations which recruit volunteers from around the country who can commit to a minimum amount of hours. Remote volunteering is a good match for those who want to volunteer but who need a flexible schedule. Websites such as and advertise volunteer positions for organizations which are needing help. Find your passion and make a difference! Searching based on area, interest, and talent yields many positions to choose from. There are many remote opportunities available which you can donate your time and skills to by committing just a few hours that works with your schedule and you don’t even need to leave the house.

For those who can take on more of a challenge and commitment, organizations are seeking board of directors and directors to head up their efforts. The sky is the limit. You might even be inspired to start your own non-profit. If you feel called to start a non-profit of your own, be sure to look online to learn more about how to get started. There are a number of reasons non-profits are started. Typically non-profits are established for a specific demographic with a common interest or as a response to a problem which can benefit the community. They also are formed as a way to channel positive energy and drive community awareness rather than dwell on negativity from a crisis. For charitable non-profits, a community is formed which can raise money by hosting fun events and an outlet is available for those suffering. Maybe you have a family member who has suffered from an illness. Maybe you have noticed an area which can be of benefit to others which you can reach and serve as a non-profit or 501c3 organization. It just takes one person to make a difference, and it’s likely there are others willing to help. Check it out if you are the ambitious type.

Get out your calendar if you are a socialite. The social scene with a charitable mission to it might be an incentive to have fun and donate at the same time. There are plenty of fundraising events in the Dallas area throughout the year which are fun to attend and provide an opportunity to give at the same time. Several of these are hosted by sports teams such as the Dallas Stars, the Mavericks, or the Dallas Cowboys. There are also large social parties, drawing thousands of attendees, which are held every year such as the Cattle Baron’s Ball in October at Gilley’s or the Margarita Society which hosts happy hours throughout the year, a golf tournament, and a large social event held in December which is co-hosted by Love for Kids collecting toys for children.

Other charitable events can be found by searching online or on Eventbrite. Like to run? Literally spring into kindness by racing to purchase a ticket which goes to fund a charity. There are many themed marathons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area happening each month of the year. If you enjoy food, there are several tasting events which are tantalizing ways to give to charity while entertaining your taste buds. Buy a ticket for a chef-catered formal meal, a wine tasting, BBQ, or a black-tie dinner. Maybe fashion is your show when it comes to charity. Walk the walk yourself by attending and donate there. There are even charitable events for the shopaholic. If the idea of enjoying shopping while sipping on glass of wine and eating sweet delicacies sounds like fun, there are events for those who like being catered to while see what there is to buy and take home. Shopping by bidding at an auction while enjoying a formal dinner might be a chance to find an item which is a collectable, an autographed item, or even win a unique trip package with proceeds going to charity. Simply by using your cell phone, you can search for items which are available to bid on, making the process that much easier. There are many ways to give locally or across the country. Search online and see what interests you the most and jump into making an impact!


Find a Non-Profit or Charity Organization in the Dallas area:
List of Non-Profit Organizations in Dallas

Search for Upcoming Charity Events based on Interest and Date–dallas/charity-events

Further Reading on Charity Organizations and Non-Profits

Search National Non-Profits:
National Council of Nonprofits1001 G Street NW
Suite 700 East
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 962-0322

Online Resources for those Starting a Non-Profit:
…Or visit your local library!

Organizations to Volunteer With:
Email for Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness’ article on Be Thoughtful and Practice Kindness By Volunteering (July 2019) which includes a free PDF list of organizations!

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Go Viral: Clean Up

Several months have passed since the first news announcement of the COVID pandemic went viral. Although people have started to venture out, and businesses are re-opening, a hyper-concern still exists for sterilization, practicing social distancing, and keeping our noses and mouths covered. If only there were such a panic or pandemic with the case of rudeness. What we can do is be prepared for the next rude encounter, the next time someone sets us off, or the next time we are about to act inappropriately toward another. It takes conditioning to be able to master civility. If this were everyone’s preparation, civility would come back into style.

Wearing a stylish mask covers the mouth and nose, but cannot contain the nose protruding into others business or exhaling rude words which has become the standard for today’s culture. What better time than the present than to promote civility of speech while we still have our masks on and are advertising “clean up”? It would seem to be a natural transition while the general public is still wearing masks and is focussed on “clean up”. Cleanliness has become an integral part of everyday, why not upgrade that to speech? Rude speech is by far the largest contaminant to society second to the Coronavirus itself and the physical mask already serves as a good reminder to contain what may be harmful.

While so much concern is spent on keeping everything externally clean, very little time is spent cleaning one’s personal house of your very self. We all have areas to work on. Think about ways of how you can be more kind. Cleaning, if done thoroughly, takes effort at first but the results are well worth it. Start by examining how you are not as kind and then make a commitment to work on those areas. Consider ways of being more charitable in words and actions. With a plan in place and a resolution to be more kind, you’ll whisk away old habits of rudeness leaving a new you!

Go viral with “clean up”. While encouraging cleanliness to prevent the Coronavirus is still very important, equally important is the deadly spread of gossip, hate speech, and discriminatory talk that has become acceptable as the standard of speech throughout the United States. Speak well of others and master civility. Correct those who are contaminated with infectious speech. Consider social distancing from those who are rude and offensive. Raise the standard for etiquette with good speech by encouraging “clean up”.

Be Cultured. Be Kind.

excerpts edited from Go Viral: Clean Up @cultureofkind

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Reaching Higher: What’s to Lose?

Winning and losing is part of life. It takes practice and hard work. Taking a leap for a higher standard with respect and kindness is sure to score. Here are a few approaches to winning:

One way is that a person can play determined to achieve a desired goal. Affixed on the goal, winning can seem to be the only option, no matter what the cost—even at the expense of other people. Being focused on the goal of winning, a competitive person can barrel toward the goal destructive to those in their path. Reaching for a goal, usually means reaching for a higher standard—but if you’re knocking people down in the process it may be a slam dunk of a different kind. Going for the gold could be shinier and leave less slivers. One of the best ways to play is to keep the goal in focus but look out for others as you head for what you are wanting to achieve. If you knock people down, sportsmanship suffers. The game is more fun if everyone can play and also have a good time. As a leader or team member, pass the ball back and forth. Let others have a chance to have the spotlight. Being kind and a good sport is a win for all playing, and it is contagious. Winners work hard, have a positive energy, an enthusiastic spirit, and spring for the basket of success. Regardless of whether they make it or not, a success can be found in how they played and how they interacted with others in the process.

A second approach to winning is by a mastery of self. A person strives to master the solid anchors of morale, character, and hard work. For these people, what matters most is how the game is played and what the response is when subjected to different trials and circumstances. Many who fall into this category work as if everything depends on them, while trusting that everything depends on God. They working earnestly, with the sweat of their brow, and live life with the best possible sense of ethics and fairness toward others and any situation. They give honor to others and to God in their work. Knowing that they put forth their very best and treated those in their path with honesty and fairness, is a win.

A third approach to winning is by selflessly helping others succeed. These people see winning in life as being an instrumental part of the success of others. They accentuate the good qualities in people and find joy in helping others succeed. Not everyone has the same level with intellect, speed, ethics, or talent. Reaching higher means realizing that while the game has a goal, the players matter, and as a team, each can contribute with what talents they have. Every individual has noticeable qualities which can be appreciated. In a work environment, recognizing and utilizing these talents can be an asset to the team. Rather than seeing the deficiencies in others, notice the positive ones! When you find aspects in others you can appreciate, and draw upon them, suddenly you can strategize more effectively for scoring big, rather than missing the shot by causing bad morale.

Winning in life might be a combination of these for you. For most, striving to do good, at least most of the time, with a positive approach to life, and practicing good work ethic, means being a winner, no matter what the outcome may be. If your mouth is akin to dribbling gossip or uncivilized talk, shoot for kinder and more polite speech. If you find you have gotten lazy with helping others, see if you can spring for kindness by helping others. Just like sports, taking the jump to refine civility to the next level takes practice and strategy. Setting higher goals and aspirations, what’s to lose?

Reach higher. Spring Into Kindness.

Edited from an article written for Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness

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