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Kindness and Respect

I went to see my hairdresser yesterday and watched as she styled an older ladies hair.

After a few moments it became clear the lady had dementia and kept resting her head on the shelf and falling asleep.

The hairdresser styling her hair was patient and kind. She spoke to her softly and reassured her with a human gentleness we often forget we possess.

In a world full of news of hate and anger this 10 minute display moved me.

It was not the first time I had witnessed this respect and kindness from Lorna, the hairdresser. Last time I was there she was helping an older lady out of the salon and up the road. I remember saying to her “this is more than a hair salon”. 

Lorna is always busy - I think we can all see why. When you leave you feel better about yourself and her ethos spreads through the salon and her colleagues are just as warm, helpful and respectful.

In her book , My Stroke of Inspiration, Jill Boyle Taylor, a respected neurologist, explains how even though the part of her brain, which deals with language, had switched off when she had her stroke, she could still feel. This meant when someone showed her kindness and respect she felt it and was drawn to those people. She could also feel when people were anxious or spoke down to her and felt drained from these encoutners.

As a negotiator trainer I always teach negotiators to keep talking even if it appears the other person doesn’t understand or can’t hear you. The tone you use can be just as important as the words, especially in these cases.

Kindness is free of charge and when given can make a difference in both yours and the other person’s life. Respect can sometimes be harder to show, but remembering everyone has a story can help us all to be mindful of what we are doing.

Have a great day, whatever you’re doing.


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