Random Acts of Kindness…and Productivity!

Random acts of kindness are also productive.  In this video, Dr. Melissa Gratias describes three ways you can be kind to other people and help them be more productive.  What are some kind things you can do to help your coworkers be the best they can be?


Don’t want to watch the video?  A transcript is below.







Hi this is Dr. Melissa Gratias, and in this video, I’m talking about random acts of kindness…and productivity.


Random acts of kindness:  ways that you can be kind to other people and help them be more productive.  So often we are focused on “How can I how can I be more efficient?  How can I be more effective?” That’s important because self-improvement is part of the job (of humanity).  We grow, and we develop.


What are some things that we can do to help the people with whom we work and the people that we live with be more effective?  Here are three ways to be kind to others and to help them help them be more productive.



1. Don’t Just Say “Thanks”


First thing is when you say “thanks” don’t just say “thanks.”   Hmmm.


And, especially – here’s a pet peeve of mine, don’t reply to an email with just the word “thanks” in it. You’re generating a lot more email.  But that’s another video.


A way to be kind to other people to help them be more productive is when you want to thank them, let them know what they specifically did to deserve the thanks.  It helps them understand what to do next.   More specifically, the acronym to follow when you’re thanking someone is BET.


B stands for behavior,

E stands for effect, and the

T stands for thanks.


I learned this in a training class very early in my career. Thank you, Betsy, for teaching me. BET is a great methodology to follow when you’re thanking someone.


So first you specify the behavior that was so awesome – what they did that was really great so that they can replicate it, and so they know why this is so wonderful.  So, what is the behavior?


The E stands for the effect.  What was the effect of that behavior?  What problems did it solve? What did it do?  Behaviors have impact, so what is the behavior they did that was so great, and what was the effect that their behavior had that was so awesome?


The third thing is the T and to say thanks.


So instead of just saying thanks, you say “I saw you when you when you proofread this report.  You caught that typo.  We got the deal.  We got the client.  Thanks so much for your diligence.”


That is much better than just “Oh, thanks for your report.”


Behavior, Effect, Thanks.  That’s it’s the first random act of kindness that will help improve someone else’s productivity.  Behavior, Effect, Thanks.



2. Stop Interrupting Other People


Secondly, stop interrupting other people so much!  A very specific way you can stop doing that is by keep keeping a “Discuss with…” list or a “Discuss with…” folder.


Let’s say I work with Lisa.  Lisa is a colleague of mine, and I generally have two to four questions for Lisa every day.  If I stood up from my desk and walked over to Lisa’s office and knocked on the door and said, “Got a minute?” two to four times a day that would cost Lisa a lot of productivity.


The alternative is I have a list on my computer…maybe a draft email…maybe even a piece of a pad of paper that’s my “Discuss with Lisa” list.  As things come to me, I put them on the “Discuss with Lisa” list.  Then, I either schedule a meeting with her or I wait until my next one-on-one with Lisa to just go down the list.


It is so much more effective to deal with five issues in bulk rather than to deal with the five issues individually.  So, have “Discuss with…” lists or folders.



3. Specify “Action Requested” in your Emails


The third thing is when you are emailing other people – I guess it always comes back to email for me doesn’t it – use the words ACTION REQUESTED in the body of the email.  I even think that action requested should be in caps and bold, which is totally violating the “caps is shouting rule,” I know.


Let’s say you have several sentences in an email.  The person who is reading your email won’t necessarily spend as much time on it as you think they will.  So, having ACTION REQUESTED in a nice bold font in the email lets their eyes skim the top part and skip down to “What am I supposed to do?  What am I being asked to do?  What is the question I need to respond to?”


So, ACTION REQUESTED, or whatever phrase you want to use, will draw the reader’s eye to what specifically you need them to do with this email.


Doing this also, by the way, helps you limit the recipients of your email. Because if there are no actions requested of a recipient, I hope that might give you pause and maybe not over-copy people on your emails.



So, thank them appropriately, interrupt them less, and write emails that help them know what they need to do.  Those are three random acts of kindness that will help you and other people at work be more productive.


This is Dr. Melissa Gratias.  There are more productivity tips on my website, melissagratias.com.  I hope you’ll visit.  I hope you’ll fill out the contact form there requesting a no-cost-to-you initial assessment.  We would meet, ask each other some questions, and determine whether one-on-one productivity coaching would help you meet your goals.


Have a very productive day.  Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


  1. Julie Bestry

    You writing this post, laying out the elements so clearly, and giving vivid examples, was stellar. It really reminded me how to express my gratitude to colleagues and clients to help them reproduce results. Thank you for being such a great role model. 😉

  2. Miriam Columba

    Nice! Very simplistic guidelines for a huge effect!


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