The World’s #1 Executive Coaching and Business Coaching Blog (2017-2021)
Why a Leader Must Always Be Kind
Kindness doesn’t cost anything and is always a great investment. Far from being weak, kind leaders engage, empower, and motivate their employees better. Leadership coaching can help leaders develop the attitude that allows them to make their workforces happier, more engaged, and more productive.
“Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.” – The Dalai Lama.
Human nature tends to look down on kindness and considers it a weakness. Empathy and compassion are not primal markers of strength. In patriarchal, conflict-focused primeval societies, it was aggression, physical strength, confidence, and creativity that were the marks of leaders. The same is true of the business leaders of the industrial age.
Intelligent leadership and leadership coaching view kindness as a strength and not a soft leadership skill. According to this new leadership paradigm, it takes strength to go out of one’s way to empower, encourage, and inspire others. Empowered employees are more loyal and more productive.
Kindness never goes to waste.
There are two dominant attitudes toward kindness in leadership. Some people think it’s nothing more than a newfangled management fad. As such, it’s ineffective. Others tout leadership kindness as a facilitator of happier, productive, and profitable workforces.
True business coaching professionals understand the benefits of leadership kindness are concrete, quantifiable, and measurable. Kind leaders are better at intelligent leadership for very specific reasons.
Kind Leaders Provide Clarity
Compassionate leaders know people need clear objectives to do good work. When they know what their leaders expect, employees can hold themselves accountable and avoid feeling unfairly treated if they fall short.
Leaders who provide clear objectives possess a clear sense of direction in their personal and professional lives. They are also good communicators.
The Power of Honest Feedback
In addition to deeply ingrained evolutionary reasons, we may also perceive kindness as a weakness because we fail to understand it.
Some leaders may believe when they’re not giving their employees honest feedback for fear of hurting their feelings, they’re being kind. This type of kindness is directed toward the self. Such leaders protect themselves from conflict and are only kind to themselves. By keeping their employees in the dark, they do them no favors.
A genuinely kind leader is honest and provides relevant and actionable feedback. Such a leadership approach allows employees to correct their courses and grow.
Kindness Encourages Growth
Kind leaders understand the most significant impact they can make as leaders is by helping others succeed. Executive coaching teaches leaders about the importance of self-actualization. Beyond the basic human needs concerning food, water, and shelter, self-actualization is our most potent driving force.
For an intelligent leader, self-actualization is in creating opportunities and encouraging others to fulfill their potential.
Kindness Goes Hand-in-Hand with Transparency
Kind leaders understand the impacts their decisions have on others. They know transparency empowers people. The right way to convey a decision, whether it be positive or negative, is to let people know exactly what it involves and means. This allows them to process it.
Transparency lets people understand situations and come back with relevant opinions and feedback. It hands them some degree of control over situations, even if they cannot directly influence it. Being secretive about the consequences of your decisions is neither kind nor empowering towards employees.
Kind leaders also know how to deliver their decisions with tact, especially if they’re difficult decisions that impact people negatively.
Kind Leaders Treat People with Dignity
One of the grievous mistakes of the industrial age leadership paradigm was to treat people as machines or simple tools in the hands of their all-knowing and infallible leaders.
Intelligent leadership recognizes employees are people with needs, wants, and aspirations. Kind leaders treat employees as equals. They acknowledge them, engage them, and build meaningful relationships with them. Intelligent leaders celebrate their employees’ successes and welcome their input.
Every soul is worthy of dignity and respect.
Being treated as equals and potential sources of creative solutions is incredibly empowering for people. They feel what they do matters. They develop psychological ownership of organizational goals. They invest interest, time, and energy into organizations. Thus, they become less likely to leave and more likely to do their best to help companies succeed.