You Catch More Flies with Honey: Kindness as a Leadership Approach
Kindness is not about being nice. It is about being purposeful and generous with others. Or what we try to do during the Holiday Season.
At least in our personal lives.
But what about leading with kindness? This is not about being the nice boss. Or even having a leadership title.
Leading with kindness about having strength in your purpose and warmly inviting others to help realize that purpose. Like using honey as bait, it’s irresistible.
“Could committing an act of leadership be as simple as committing an act of kindness?” — Susan Mazza
This approach applies to leading a neighborhood non-profit, a Fortune 500 Corporation , or a nation and every other group in-between.
Kind Leaders Have A Backbone
Kindness is not weakness. You must be, strong, honest and fair when:
It’d be easy to berate someone, to instead cut a little slack, while firmly pointing out what missed the mark.
Cutting ties when there’s no good way forward. If you’re having the same conversation over and over, it’s time to end the relationship or leave the topic alone for good.
Your steady look-‘em-in-the-eyes gaze as puts a backbone in your leadership when you:
Make the new gal lead on an important project and help her think through how to match-up her abilities to the task at hand, so that it’s a successful effort.
Redirect a team member who undercuts the value of her contributions and stagnates. Bonus this also prevents a loss for him and the team.
Kind Leaders Specify
Share an encouraging word about the best you see in people. The toss away “good job,” becomes a way you point of the value of what’s just part of the job. ‘“Job well done Samantha. Talking with Mrs. Cliburn about the repair work done on her car, so that she understood is key to maintaining our reputation. And to building a lasting relationship, because she knows we’ll treat her right.”
Encourage specific actions and use of people’s abilities and you’ll get more of those, easily.
Kind Leaders Cultivate Productivity
What type of environment do you want to cultivate?
A nest in which the scramble to raise the bar devolves into personal one-up-manship at the expanse of shared goals?
I’ll bet a pint of honey, you’ve seen one of those sour, repellent, and exhausting places (or worked in one).
Or a hive that’s generous, positive and productive? Where people do know what to do, do what they do best and everyone contributes.
Where difficult interpersonal situations are addressed and people get back to business. Not because they have to be but because they feel heard.
When you feel heard, you feel valued. When you feel valued, you’re going to put your best efforts forward and are productive.
Kindness creates warmth and respect within a community. Your staff is your community.
It’s wise to make time at work as inviting and useful as possible.