Kindness is free, but sometimes we act as if it’s a rare treasure to hoard. Or, we think small actions won’t make a difference. We’re wrong on both counts.

The act of kindness costs nothing but a few moments of time and it reaps huge dividends. The size of the gesture is less important than the loving intent behind it. Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy (whose life was featured in the movie The Blind Side) have a theory which they call The Popcorn Theory. It goes like this: You can’t help everyone. But you can try to help the hot ones who pop right up in front of your face.

In their memoir In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, they write, “Too often, we think we lack the means to improve someone’s lot. We’re wrong. The Popcorn Theory doesn’t oblige all of us to write impressively large checks or take in every hungry child with a face like a flame. It only requires that we perceive the person standing right in front of us.”

A couple weeks ago my colleague China Gorman invited me to an event called Random Tweets of Kindness. It was started in 2013 by Lars Schmidt, a guy who felt we all could use a reminder to be kind to everyone. He bills this event (which happens via Twitter—and, if you choose—in real life) as a “modest effort to spend a day focused on gratitude and public thanks.”

Random Tweets of Kindness is on March 8, 2017. If you’re on Twitter, give a shout-out to people who you’d like to thank publicly for the ways they have made a positive difference in your life. Use the hashtag #RTOK.

Not on Twitter? Send a note (or a Snap or tag them on Facebook). Or tell them personally.

Whatever way you decide to reach out, just do it. As the Touhys remind us, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. But for you to make a difference, you need to take action.

Want to know more about Random Tweets of Kindness? Go to the Facebook page for details.

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10 Years of #HR Posts – Happy Anniversary @CarnivalofHR

February 21, 2017

The Carnival of HR is 10 years old today! I starting contributing to the Carnival in 2009. That’s led to connections with countless of really smart minds in the recruiting, talent development and general HR arena. Robin Schooling, a VP of HR is the current ringleader for the Carnival, which offers a monthly round-up of […]

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Improve Your Decision Making By Doing These Three Things

February 20, 2017

Strappy heels or comfy flats? Ivy League or state college? At first glance, one choice is relatively simple, the other more fraught with complex decision-making. Look more closely, and you’ll see that sometimes even the “easy” choices are difficult. If you’ve ever struggled with what seems an obvious choice — say, “fruit cup or chocolate […]

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6 Phrases to Get a Derailed Conversation Back on Track

February 13, 2017

My mother always said that the true test of marriage was if a couple could successfully hang wallpaper together. Mr. People Equation and I have that handled. No problem. But engaging in a task that requires me to follow Mr. People Equation’s directions, such as moving furniture or positioning a picture on a wall for […]

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Trends in Professional Development – Self-Serve Learning

February 7, 2017

Humans are naturally curious creatures. When my kids were little it was such fun to watch them learn about their world. Give them a cardboard box, plastic spoons and nesting measuring cups and they would experiment endlessly. Somewhere along the line, many of us got our curiosity drilled out of us – probably due to […]

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Research that Supports Being “Good with People”

February 2, 2017

For years, I’ve written about how to “master the people equation” to make a positive impact in your work life. It seems obvious (to me, at least) that people who “get along” with others are more effective at getting stuff done. People aren’t real fond of Negative Nellies and Neds. They don’t like to work […]

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Three Sentences that Cost Your Business Time, Money, and Grief

January 30, 2017

“You can’t change horses in mid-stream.” “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” “This time is different.” How many times have you heard these (or similar) sayings tossed out at the conference table when you’re making an important business decision? These sentences are short-hand for cautionary tales when it comes to decision-making.  Rather […]

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Tim Sackett Day Honors @lisarosendahl – Unsung HR Hero

January 23, 2017

Oh, boy, is she gonna hate this. There’s a reason some heroes are unsung: they hate the publicity. But I’m doing it anyway. My friend (and card-carrying introvert) Lisa Rosendahl is being honored as 2017’s Tim Sackett Day recipient. What is Tim Sackett Day, you ask? It’s a day selected by blogger and entrepreneur Laurie […]

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My Must-Attend Conference of 2017 #workhuman

January 19, 2017

This time each year, many people peruse their industry’s conference offerings to decide which ones to attend. If you’re in the human resources, talent management, organizational development or leadership functions in your company, I suggest the WorkHuman 2017 conference. Now in its third year, the conference—sponsored by technology solutions provider Globoforce—seeks to help companies build […]

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4 Tips for Staying Humble

January 16, 2017

One of the biggest egos in the cartoon world belongs to the character Plankton from the Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants.  Plankton’s over-inflated sense of worth (and his never-ending quest to steal the coveted Krabby Patty recipe) leads him to run roughshod over the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom. To wit: It’s funny in cartoon-land. But the […]

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