Is kindness the most underrated quality of our time?
Nooshin Olsson is a process engineer working in the chemical industry and she has worked at Semcon for almost 5 years in total. Her Semcon Story is about what she thinks might be the most underestimated quality of our time – kindness.
I have had the possibility to be a process engineer and project manager at a number of production sites within the chemical industry. It is a complex world where most engineering areas meet. A great part of working in the chemical industry is of course risk management. Safety and health is always the first priority and correctly so. The consequences if something would go wrong could be enormous.
Regardless of which company I have worked at, I have consistently had the honour to work with people who impress me with their knowledge, drive, creativity, and professional pride. The chemical industry triggers my curiosity, for every knowledge I gain I realize there is so much more to learn. I can honestly say that I often feel like my brain has done a marathon after a hard day’s work.
A part of the puzzle
But I feel like I’m missing a piece in this complex puzzle of production. I dare say that the missing piece may also be one of the reasons why my customer satisfaction rating have been good lately. (I apologize to anyone feeling that I crossed the Jante-law, a cultural tradition in Sweden to never applaud oneself).
To many this is a word that has nothing or very little to do with your professional life. Kindness is something we try to teach our children and what we want to treat our loved ones with. Kindness can be seen as an expression of naivety and vulnerability. However, it has grown to be my super power and it all started with focusing on being kind to myself.
Rebuilding with kindness
After a tough divorce I found myself on a personal “ground zero”. Then I found a quote online “Everyone you meet is fighting a fight you know nothing about. Be kind. Always”. Since that day the quote is in the foreground of everything I do.
I try to talk slower so others have a chance to reflect on what I say and interrupt me with questions. I try to listen in between my sentences to be able to see if my colleague is being present in the moment. I remind myself to express feelings about the job I have done, for example, I found this difficult or exciting or easy.
Kindness comes in return
When I get new tasks I always remind myself to say “I will do my best” instead of “I can do it” to lift some pressure of my own mind. My favourite thing is to applaud a colleague who has supported me in any way. This approach gives me small bits of time during the day to reflect and to realize all the good things I do. I am a capable engineer with many qualities that I can share with my colleagues without the need to strive for perfection or bury myself under pressure and stress.
Kindness comes in return, try it. Praise someone for their effort and not for their achievement next time you can. And ask if you can assist, even if it’s nothing “in it” for you. Great things happen and better results than you can imagine come out of kindness, patience and trust.
Title: Process engineer and Project manager
Education: Bachelor in Chemical engineering
Worked at Semcon since: 2011-2014+2017-ongoing
I have most fun at work when I…: …see my team members feel proud of their work!