It’s really hard to be kind ALL of the time, and when you’re not, are you being human or are you being a workplace meany?

I’ve struggled with this myself.

I felt regret when I vented about coworker to another coworker. I questioned if I should have managed a meeting when I wasn’t the one in charge of the meeting. I felt bad when I forgot to ask an employee how they were doing because I was consumed by the busyness of my own work. I even wondered if my frustration with the controlling nature of another leader was valid.

There is a fine line between allowing yourself to be human and being a workplace meany. Here’s the difference.

It is human to need to release frustration when you feel annoyed. Releasing the frustration by confiding in a trusted person without expecting them to choose sides or join a smear campaign is human. It is mean to gossip, coerce others to your point-of-view, or intentionally make someone look bad or incompetent.

It is human to not want not your time wasted in meetings. Asking a meeting leader how you can help them run an efficient meeting because you recognize everyone’s time is important is human. Taking a meeting over, cutting people off, rolling your eyes, making the leader look incompetent or embarrassing the leader is mean.

It is human to be stressed by your own busyness and forget that others need your support when they are busy too. Circling back with an apology and showing genuine interest in how someone is doing is human. Ignoring them or their needs is mean.

It is human to feel frustrated when others try to control you or control the people you care about like your coworkers or your team. Asserting yourself by communicating boundaries and advocating for what you or you team need is human. Competing with or undercutting the other leader is mean.

It is human to show kindness and concern. It’s called Generosity G Factor, and research tells us that if you have it, people will want to work with you.

If you want to learn more about Generosity G Factor and how you can get more of it, you should definitely check this out Boost Your G Factor in 10 Days!