Kindness in Leadership
By Ann Meacham
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” – Bob Kerrey, former Governor of Nebraska and US Senator.
Strong leadership and kindness are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they fit together effectively. The most successful leaders treat their team members with kindness. They realize that kindness is motivating.
The current CEO of Marriott International, Arne Sorenson, says, “Take care of the associates, the associates will take care of the guests, and the guests will come back again and again.”
How can you apply this statement to your business? Some managers and executives believe being kind to their people will cause them to be lazy and under perform. The reality is that motivated team members lead to a winning organizational culture, which leads to people having pride in their work, their team and their company, which leads to outstanding results and superior client/customer service.
People want their managers to be honest and make the time to help them learn and succeed. They realize this often means being forthright and leveling with them about areas of skill development. Yet, managers are often too busy to follow through on their responsibility to give constructive feedback to help their people learn and grow.
It is important to realize that giving constructive feedback, mentoring and coaching our team members and others are also acts of kindness. Everyone wants to do well and be successful.
We can give constructive feedback in a kind manner, letting our people know we genuinely care about them. Reach out to your people when good things happen, not just when something goes wrong. Note: This feedback must be genuine. No platitudes!
“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
How can you use kindness with your people? Notice how it makes a difference.
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