Business and kindness are not often put together in the same sentence. However, good leadership and kindness are often related. Good business leaders will be known for being kind in the future if they want the best talent to perform well and stay at their organizations. The COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated this trend.
In company after company, I have seen a trend toward employees wanting caring employers.
COVID-19 has heightened the fear and concern of employees for having a safe work environment. They also wish to work for employers who help them consider the demands of work and home, especially if they have school-age children in school only part of the time.
All the challenges of COVID have increased the demand for the kind and compassionate leaders.
Lesson to Learn
Individuals and teams want leaders who care about them. They also want a leadership style that displays genuine concern, and this approach is manifested by kindness.
Kindness is sometimes hard to define. To me, it means genuinely caring about the other person and showing it.
Kindness is demonstrated by being gentle, listening, and taking into account the needs and talent of team members.
More and more employees want someone who leads them well, lets them contribute their full skills and helps them achieve superb results for the organization and the individual.
Answer for Me
Leadership styles have changed dramatically since I first began to learn them and practice them. Over my 35 years as a leader, I have witnessed all types of leaders.
The best leaders are kind to those around them.
It does not mean they were pushovers or soft — they were not. Instead, they were firm, honest, and cared deeply for those they led.
They treated others as equals and even like family, in the best sense of the word. They were available when needed. They put others before themselves. I have always been impressed by just how successful they could be by being kind to those around them. I have aspired to be both effective and considerate.
Great leaders I have worked with have helped me develop my way of leading, which has led me to be more kind, more caring, and get better results. I believe these items all go together and make for outstanding leadership.
As a leader, assess your leadership approach.
If your goal is to lead with more kindness, what would you do first?
Are you focused on the attributes associated with being a kind leader? Do you listen well, encourage others to contribute, and help teams accomplish outcomes? Are you known for caring for your teammates as individuals as well as employees of your organization?
As you look at your behaviors, what can you do to continue to make progress toward becoming better at your leadership approach?
Having a plan for you and your team as you move forward will help you create a better environment to achieve the results you need and want.
Leadership approaches and actions are executed daily. As you prepare for your day, what are the opportunities you will have to care more, listen more, and help others attain their work and life goals? Be intentional about kindness toward all you will meet and work with today.
Just wanting to be kind and caring changes the way you will act each minute of your day.
Over time, you will see the fruits of your efforts begin to take hold. As you grow in your capacity, others will notice and make strides in developing into a more kind and caring leader. This is how change happens daily.