Kindness: The Surprising X Factor For Successful Leaders
May 3, 2015
CEO, Madden Coaching & Consulting. Executive and Private Coaching; Organization Effectiveness Consulting
“My Religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” The Dalai Lama
Kindness is a leadership characteristic that will deliver financial and humanitarian returns beyond imagination. It helps us create work environments that are based on trust and that allow people to express and experience meaning and purpose at work.
Kindness is the willingness to open one’s heart to another and to do so as instinct, not as calculation. Kindness is a show of respect for someone, whether you agree with their point of view or not. Kindness leads to listening, to curiosity and to the creation of environments at work, home and in the community, where there is an unspoken covenant of honor and of worthiness. It helps us internalize and cultivate an understanding that none of us can survive or achieve personal or organizational success alone.
We work in teams, live in families and grow up in communities. As people, sometimes we triumph and sometimes we fail. But if we can always be kind, we will lead and live in a manner which unlocks possibilities, opening us deeply to the world and to people and ideas beyond ourselves.
In the heat of work there is pressure to deliver products, meet revenue targets and deliver ROI and this is the precise time when many of us are susceptible to acting in ways that are less than our best. So why not experiment with a practice of kindness to avoid such pitfalls? A practice of kindness can help us avoid behavior that is triggered by our own stress, behavior such as being rude, uncontrolled anger or bullying. Instead, be kind. The return on that investment is the most scalable and sustainable characteristic of leadership because it creates trust between you and those with whom you have shown kindness.
Here are 5 Ways to Cultivate Kindness And To Be An Extraordinary Leader:
- Seek to understand first before making assumptions or decisions.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Walk toward people when they fail, not away.
- Speak about what is in your heart, not just what is in your head.
- Learn to be kind to yourself first: You will find it easier to be kind to others.
2015 Copyright, Sheila Madden. All Rights Reserved.
Sheila Madden is CEO of Madden Coaching & Consulting. She is an executive and career coach, author and organization effectiveness consultant