in Management, Reflections

What makes someone a “good” person?

One of my mentors posed this question on Facebook, and to be honest, I had a canned answer ready to go which is literally half of what my job entails – having answers.  But thinking about it now for a day or two, I wanted to expand my own answer and think a bit more about why I’ve chosen this particular way of defining a “good person”.

Kindness: When you are at at your worst, what do you do? When you are truly down and out, when no one is around to judge you – what do you do? Are you an inherently kind person? Is vengeance a part of your DNA? I think the very foundation of “good people” finds its roots in kindness.

But there’s a fallacy in that.

People who are inherently kind can make mistakes. You can do something without realizing that you’ve hurt someone, you can say something that created pain without meaning to do so, and that’s where the other part of the equation comes into play – reflection & introspection; the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.

I think it’s key to be able to have the humility to reflect on and examen your own behaviors, even if you didn’t intend for them to be negative.  This often leads to a self evolution and awareness in your day to day dealings that can increase your overall EQ. I think it also helps you realize when you’ve had to do the right thing when it wasn’t the popular option.  People do not like being wrong, and they do not often like to make the decision that data supports because it’s not the one they want – but you can do so with kindness.

At the end of the day, my belief is that inherent kindness + reflection & introspection = good people.