The Power of Purposeful Kindness in Leadership

Do you lead with Kindness?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about kindness in leadership and its connection to amazing  leadership.

The buzz around Random acts of kindness is important. However, if we want to be great leaders, maybe we shouldn’t focus so much on acts of kindness being random……

I believe great leaders have the capacity to be both strong and kind. Kindness as a backbone to leadership will boost your team’s drive in achieving success. We just need to look at the legacy of Jacinda Ardern to eliminate doubt of the connections.

I believe showing kindness is being a good human! In today’s world, even among adults, the lack of kindness is a problem and unfortunately this transpires across into our working lives too. In my corporate career as a former CHRO, I have sadly seen too many examples where humans have got too engrossed in the need to be the best and the highest performer in the room, unfortunately I have seen too many cases when a high achieving mind set takes over. Kindness gets lost. I believe it’s our job to advocate a high achieving working culture that works alongside kindness. I can recall my own experiences, yes experiences where I look back and think I acted like a real bull beater and I know now I should have been kinder. I didn’t have the strength to act in line with my values and I didnt work in a culture that advocated being kind. 

These days I think very differently, thank you action based evidence! I  view kindness as one of the most important qualities of leadership and you don’t have to look very far to find many stories and articles promoting random acts of kindness at work. But, this made me wonder; is there any research to prove real purposeful kindness makes us better leaders? The answer is yes, there’s an abundance.

Kindness can increase productivity

I read an article recently by Harvard business review that stated Kindness can increase productivity and satisfaction. Employees who are respectful and kind to each other have 26% more energy, 36% more satisfaction with their work, and 44% more commitment to their organization. 

But apart from the facts proven in the many studies and articles available, the link between kindness and great leadership extends beyond just the relationship you have with employees. It also increases employee performance.

Researchers at Oxford University analyzed hundreds of published papers that studied the relationship between kindness and happiness. They uncovered 21 studies that explicitly prove that being kind to others makes us happier. You just need to look at your own experiences of kind leaders to know this is.

I am sure you don’t think twice about teaching children in your life to intentionally practice kindness, however as adults, we also must be intentional about practicing kindness. Random acts are great. But do we overlook opportunities to be kind on purpose—to make the world a better place, elevate someone’s day, and simply look out for one another?

For the readers in leadership roles let’s start by advocating kindness in your teams! Creating a space for kindness to exist and co inhabit with high achieving qualities.

I will share with you openly that 10 years ago the leader version of me did not consistently advocate kindness in my role. When I woke up to the significant impacts being a kindness advocate was having within my teams, I did not look back. Please remember you can still be phenomenally strong. High achieving leader and advocate kindness.

Here are some of my tips on how you can start to advocate kindness within your organization today! 

Recognize, kindly

Celebrate the successes of others you work with, don’t wait for a big achievement or promotion to recognize your colleagues, celebrate the smaller stuff too e.g. the team member who also takes care of the new team members. your team doesn’t want big moments of grandeur. They want your respect, time and genuine attention.

Support, kindly

We all have busy, stressful lives. Whether you’re a leader or an individual contributor there’s too much dialogue around “It’s not in my job description” and not enough, “How can I support you?” be a leader who advocates supporting kindly within your team. I know how amazing I have felt hearing the words, what can I do to help?

Care, kindly

The hardest part about leading people is understanding that they are people—not machines. They don’t turn off when they finish their work. They move on to deal with personal responsibilities, life concerns, relationships, financial issues. Great leaders understand this, and they care. Stop inviting your team to late night meetings because it’s the only slot free in your agenda, this behavior signals you do not care!

Give feedback, kindly

Critical conversations are tough, but can build trust, if they are handled with kindness—meaning you have a desire to help an employee become their best version, rather than just improving your numbers. A very wise lady once told me, honesty without kindness is brutality. Think about that statement the next time you are planning to give constructive feedback and ask yourself is your feedback coming from a place of kindness?

I love supporting fellow senior HR Leaders to make kindness the DNA of their company culture.

Contact me today for a chat and let’s see how I can help you too.

Contact me today for a free discovery call

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