Being kind comes naturally. It’s in our human nature to want good things for others, to want others to be happy, to succeed and prosper.
As a leader right now in this global pandemic and unrest, it’s a necessity to let that natural kindness come to the forefront of how we show up as leaders. We are not always aware of what others are feeling good about or what they are struggling with.
Here are 5 powerful leadership acts of kindness to practice every day – with employees, peers, people more senior than you and all other stakeholders:
- Be 100% present. When you’re with someone – in real life or remotely – show them that they have your full attention and that you value them enough to not let yourself be distracted by buzzing phones or pinging emails.
- Listen without prejudice. Don’t assume that you know what someone is thinking or what they will say. Be curious about their opinion. Listen first, then respond. Ask the right questions.
- Be supportive. Are you seeing someone struggling? Emotionally or work related. Reach out, support, offer your help, your guidance or simply your ear. Be prepared for any response and allow that to be ok.
- Notice when someone does something good. Praise them, thank them, recognise them publicly if relevant. Cheer someone on for their effort, dedication, creativity and results. We have the power to increase the number of positive messages around us and that creates a ripple affect. We need it in these challenging times.
- Be honest. Kind honesty is sharing your observations on what someone is doing very well (so they can do more of it) and also what they could do more effectively (where they’re not having the impact they want or need). Feedforward is caring enough to be honest – always in a supportive way that makes the person feel you always have their best interest in mind.
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”
Harold S. Kushner