Inspiring Performance with Kindness
Thank you to those who commented on my article, “Kindness in Leadership,” a few weeks ago. Now let’s take the conversation to the next level. One comment received:
“I believe that you can still lead and be a boss while putting the consideration of your employees in mind. To me, a manager is someone who tells someone to get something done and expects it in turn. A leader inspires or motivates someone positively to do it because it is the right thing to do.” Andrew Day
What does kindness in performance management look like?
First, keep in mind that the kindest action is to give feedback along the way in a frank and respectful way.
A basic format for managing performance:
· Plan – clearly communicate expectations and outcomes
· Support – provide resources, information, encouragement, and guidance (including milestone check-in and feedback)
· Review – evaluate end results
· Reward and recognize – yes, you made it!
The step that is often skipped is acknowledge good work. Many managers and leaders tend to say, OK that’s done. Let’s move on to the next project. What is astounding is that a simple, “nice job” or “looks good” or “thanks for your efforts…” will create enthusiasm and dedication – engagement.
What happens if they miss the goal?
According to Lazlo Bock in his latest book, “Work Rules, Insights From Inside Google,” leaders must be honest and transparent with their people. “This includes telling them when they are lagging behind in their performance. Having a mission-driven, purposeful workplace also requires that you approach people with sensitivity. Most people who are performing poorly know it and want to get better. It’s important to give them that chance.” P.187 It is important to hold everyone accountable to a standard.
Kindness with accountability is powerful.
Are you successful at holding your people accountable?
See below for additional comments.
A few more comments to the post:
· “One can still maintain control and a sense of direction without being overbearing and abusive. Kindness does work!” David Hoch
· “Kindness is caring about someone else enough to not do something for them.” Maria Popovici
· “I marvel at the responses I receive after sending a note to the leaders of a co-workers whose efforts made my job easier and successful. They’re often surprised, always pleased and often reply with such enthusiasm you’d think I gave them a bonus! Proof positive that not enough credit is given when it’s due….so simple, yet apparently quite rare!” Patty Sarnowski
· “I have found that people respond much more positively and will do whatever you ask of them, even if it is a big ask for them, when you are kind. Kindness shows respect, which is one of the critical traits of a successful leader.” Barbara Speed
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