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Who needs you? It is the basis of who we are as human beings. Who needs me today?

Giving people time was undoubtedly the value that was unanimously highlighted among the guests interviewed in season 1 of the Culture of Kindness podcast. They said it was essential for ensuring you have the best team around you. Being present and, of course, listening.

Ben Mathes is founder of the social movement, Urban Confessional: a free listening movement. Since he started it in 2012 it has grown to over 80 countries with thousands of volunteers holding simple handwritten signs that say 'Free Listening'. Benjamin does not call this a 'soft skill' as most might consider, he says it’s a 'survival skill'. On the podcast he says that, while he recognises it is imperative for us as a race, he understands why we are always learning to listen and therefore to give time is the most important gift we can give.

Being present and allowing time to pass with someone isn't always easy, it is sometimes our own minds that are consumed by our own stories that lets us down. Getting out of that and giving time to others, your team and work colleagues, is what will ultimately build better bonds.


Find a way to get back to people who email you. Whether that is an out of office saying you receive up to 1,000 emails a day, and therefore it’s unlikely you'll respond, but if it’s urgent, to call the main office and leave details.

If you are sending more than two emails back and forth, find a better way to communicate. Pick up the phone or set up an action tracker if it’s a constant communication update on a project.

Use your diary like your bible to make sure the people who need you are given the time they need. That can include your family. Did you do date night? Did you get too busy to spend time on the floor playing with your children? Block it out, take the time.

Ask yourself at the beginning of each day, Who needs me today? But also note that the answer will include, you.

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