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Kindness is key

Kindness is key

By Sunil Deshmukh
Calendar

Jul 05 th 2021

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While there are many qualities that a leader should embody, kindness is one of the most important for achieving success.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the human side of leading a team or organization. employees who are struggling with stress, illness, or the loss of loved ones appreciate leadership qualities such as kindness, flexibility, and openness. During the pandemic, corporate leaders were expected to show a different style of leadership that’s more empathetic. Kindness is infectious and contributes to team cohesiveness and employee loyalty to the organization.

The popular perception is that powerful leaders are tough, strong, decisive, rational, and results-driven. In business, too often kindness is seen as weakness. Cutthroat professionals with a survival-of-the-fittest mind-set neglect kindness and fail to develop that key leadership trait. In the corporate setting, most leaders have experienced moments when an act of kindness would’ve improved their decision-making process.

Many forward-thinking leaders have realized that inflexible, aggressive leadership has gone out of fashion, replaced by a kinder, more humanistic approach to leadership. Kindness in leadership will have a positive impact across an organization. Kind leaders treat others with respect, communicate with compassion, listen intently, share information transparently, accommodate employees’ personal issues, offer advice, encourage subordinates’ career growth, motivate employees without resorting to negativity, adapt to change, recognize employees’ talent and contributions, and prioritize fairness and inclusivity.

To lead with kindness, we must have compassion, which provides employees with the sense of security that they need to perform; integrity, which means acting based on values, keeping promises, and combating biases; gratitude, meaning to appreciate others’ work; authenticity, which means that leaders must show that they’re genuine; humility, which means remaining grounded and down-to-earth; and humor, which eases tension and boosts morale.

Practice kindness

The positive impact of kind leaders on employees is increased happiness, motivation, commitment, engagement, loyalty, and productivity. Kindness also leads to greater team stability, creativity, and innovation. Kind leaders also positively impact their company’s reputation, helping it to attract and retain customers, the best talent, and strong business partners.

Practicing kindness in the workplace isn’t a competitive disadvantage—quite the opposite. Many successful organizations practice kindness, helping to cultivate happier employees, a more engaged workforce, and enhanced outputs.

Kindness in the workplace can also create a strong bond among employees, organizational stability, consistent teamwork, and improved performance.

In contrast, leaders’ rudeness or lack of control over their temper can have a negative impact on organizations; incivility or arrogance can potentially infect teams with bad morale and a negative attitude, and performance will suffer.

As children, we’re taught to treat others how we would want to be treated, but some tend to forget this as adults. It’s much easier to be rude than to be kind. Often, leaders surrounded by yes-men don’t have a feedback mechanism to realize how rude they are.

A simple step that organizations can take to develop a culture of kindness is defining the behaviors you expect employees to practice, using words such as “friendly,” “helpful,” “compassionate,” and “respectful.”

A common tendency is for leaders to react to a frustrating situation or disappointing results with anger but not respond to employees’ thoughts and feelings. Think before you react, keep calm, give yourself time to reflect, try to keep your emotions under control, and allow your employees to express themselves honestly.

Effective leaders give employees transparent feedback, discuss problems without pointing fingers, encourage career growth, find ways to motivate colleagues, and take time to do small acts of kindness.

Create a culture of kindness

Most leaders don’t think of culture first but rather focus on their company’s products, technology, and services. Culture is generally seen as an afterthought, and those organizations inevitably suffer.

Creating a culture of kindness takes time, and it needs to be nurtured to be sustainable. Culture is the combination and culmination of leaders’ decision making and communication of values and priorities over time. If you have a culture of kindness at your organization, then it’s likely that your employees will have less emotional baggage and more focus on their jobs.

Give back to the community

Some companies are doing community service or donating to charities as a part of their corporate social responsibility, giving employees a chance to serve the community and society. Internal and external acts of corporate kindness can be incorporated into company values.

Most people want autonomy and flexibility to work from home and create their own work routine. That creates trust among employees, encouraging them to work more efficiently, which improves performance.

Employees look to their leaders’ example to define the organization’s culture. Well-trained leaders who walk the talk and embody the organization’s values will inspire respect and help to develop a culture of kindness.

Be a kind leader

A kind leader is honest, forthright, and transparent in communication with colleagues, even during difficult situations and transitions. A leader also condemns unethical or irresponsible behavior. A kind leader encourages others to take responsibility for completing work tasks, empowers them to take ownership of their role, and supports them.

Kind leaders realize that mistakes happen, recognize that people are central to the success of any organization, promote fairness, and consider various viewpoints. Kind leaders are more respected than rude, temperamental leaders are. Kindness in leadership brings stability and inspires better employee performance and retention. An organization with kindness as a core value is likely to perform much better than an organization with a dog-eat-dog ethos. Embedding simple acts of kindness into the culture can create a long-term positive impact on employees and stakeholders.

This article was originally published on the SF Magazine website.

Comments

Divya Momaya
Divya Momaya

July 05, 2021

Excellent blog. BE A KIND LEADER! Indeed is the need of the day. World after pandemic is moving from merely commercial to empathic and responsible leadership. Worth reading and implementing.

Leave a Reply

Category

  • All
  • Boardrooms
  • BOARDROOMS
  • Independent Directors
  • Role of Board
  • Mindset Shifts of Boards
  • Independent Directors and Promoters
  • Sustainability / ESG
  • business implication
  • employee exits
  • COMMITTEE MEETINGS
  • Union Budget
  • Independent Director
  • Grow with Governance
  • Grow with Governance
  • INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
  • Entrepreneurial Board
  • ESG & ITS IMPORTANCE
  • leadership coaching
  • Change Management
  • Advisory Boards
  • Boards
  • Boardroom
  • Brand Yourself as a Leader of the Company
  • Kindness
  • Are you hesitant to speak in the Boardroom!
  • Governance & ESG
  • Directors
  • Independent Directors
  • Corporate Governance
  • Leader development
  • Gratitude, Purpose
  • decision making
  • Systematic Investment Plans in Emotional Intelligence
  • Corporate Governance
  • The Board’s Role in ESG!
  • Balance Boards
  • Agility and Compassion
  • Governance and Board
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Directors,Promoter Directors
  • Board Members, Directors and Independent Directors
  • Board and Senior Management
  • New Directors
  • Cyber Insurance
  • Salary Increment
  • Economy Growth
  • Human Resources
  • Generating Wealth Beyond Money
  • Agile Mindset for Leadership
  • Aspiring Independent Directors
  • Board Leadership
  • Corporate Governance & Women on Boards
  • BOARD MEMBER
  • SME
  • WOMEN DIRECTOR
  • BOARD MEMBERS

Archive

  • 2021
    • April (3)
      • Will you drive your vehicle without a dashboard?
      • Are you making SIPs to improve your Emotional Intelligence
      • Corporate Governance needs a Moral Compass – Ethics in Indian Boardrooms!
    • August (9)
      • Grow with Governance: ESG is the umbrella for CSR, says Vedanta's Roma Balwani
      • Grow with Governance: PadUp Ventures' Rajat Jain Demystifies Correlation of Governance and Economic Growth
      • Grow with Governance: Family governance impacts the culture of a family-run business, says Equations Advisors' Mita Dixit
      • Entrepreneurial Board
      • NEW REGULATORY PROVISIONS RELATED TO INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS
      • ESG & ITS IMPORTANCE FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF BOARD MEETING
      • Start early, don't wait till retirement to become an Independent Director, says Increate Value Advisors' Milind Sarwate
      • The winding road of leadership coaching in the post-pandemic era
      • Challenges of Organizational Culture Change
    • February (4)
      • Re-examination of Purpose by the Boards in Post -Pandemic Era
      • What Makes Great Boards Great! Performance Evaluation by Boards and Role of Independent Directors
      • Promoter Director – Time to become Custodian of Governance!
      • Diversity and Inclusion – The Board Perspective!
    • January (2)
      • New Directors - Have you done your due diligence
      • Cyber Security Insurance and Boards
    • July (7)
      • Why Advisory Boards Are Important for Indian Business Corporates?
      • Grow with Governance: ESG essential to repair the damage economic activities caused to the earth, says CA Shailesh Haribhakti
      • Top 10 areas to contribute in Boards as Independent Directors
      • Top 10 Questions to Ask in Boardrooms!
      • Essential HOWs of Boardroom!
      • Kindness is key
      • How to Brand Yourself as a Leader of the Company?
    • June (6)
      • Leading from the Boardroom
      • Are you hesitant to speak in the Boardroom!
      • The Neem Project a Leadership case study
      • Directors Liability in India
      • Why do promoters need Independent Directors?
      • Corporate Governance Deviation – Infosys Case Study
    • March (4)
      • Board Refreshment: Finding the Right Balance for your Board!
      • HR Governance and Board – How Important Is It?
      • Agility and Compassion: Two Pillars for Boards in the Post Pandemic Era!
      • Modernizing Governance: The Board’s Role in ESG!
    • May (3)
      • Restructuring appraisals in 2021 – Gratitude, Purpose & Meritocracy
      • How do you make your personal Brand?
      • Leadership Coaching: How does it help Leaders
    • October (2)
      • Are Independent Director’s required on the Board?
      • 'Ethics & Governance' lesson should start from school, says Federal Bank's Independent Director, Sankarshan Basu
    • September (3)
      • Grow with Governance: As an Independent Director ensure your voice is heard, says Apurva Purohit
      • Grow with Governance: Push for ESG agenda; pool CSR funds to maximise impact, says Ranganath NK, former MD of Grundfos Pumps
      • Grow with Governance: Boards should prepare companies for different risks, says National Insurance Academy's G Srinivasan
  • 2020
    • August (4)
      • WOMEN DIRECTOR-An Emerge
      • ARE YOUR BOARD MEMBERS SAVVY WITH FINANCIAL TERMS AND EXCEL IN FINANCIAL LITERACY QUOTIENT AS PER COMPANIES ACT 2013 MANDATES.
      • BOARD MEMBER SELECTION- A TASK OF PERFECTION
      • SME IPO – AN OPPORTUNITY TO CAPITALIZE YOUR BUSINESS
    • December (3)
      • Good or bad, Salary Increments always cause a heartburn among employees
      • Is Economic Progress Enough?
      • Emotional Intelligence
    • November (3)
      • Generating Wealth Beyond Money
      • "Agile Mindset for Leadership"
      • Tips for Aspiring Independent Directors
    • September (3)
      • Independent Director
      • Lean Thinking Boards
      • Corporate Governance & Women on Boards
  • 2022
    • August (1)
      • Liability of Independent Directors – An Important Aspect of Corporate Governance
    • February (4)
      • A Hero's Farewell: How to handle employee exits with dignity
      • Green Bonds: An Instrument for Financing a Sustainable Future
      • Tool for effectiveness of Board Committees - Ask Right Questions
      • Russia-Ukraine war and India’s Business Implication
    • July (2)
      • Stagnation or Evolution – Mindset Shifts of Boards when Company sees Stagnated Growth
      • Risk Assessment and Minimization Procedures – Role of Board
    • March (2)
      • A study on Sustainability Report of Container Shipping Companies.
      • India and The ESG impact of Crypto Currencies
    • May (1)
      • Independent Directors liability under GST
    • November (1)
      • Workplace Sexual Harassment and the Role of Board
    • October (2)
      • How many Boards are too many?
      • Women in Indian Boardrooms Vs Diversity = Inversely Proportionate
    • September (2)
      • Organizing for the Future – Important keys to becoming future ready
      • Are you ready to serve on the Board?