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5 Practical Suggestions for Being More Kind as a Leader

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Kind Leader – Leadership Tips

Have you known someone who wasn’t very kind? Maybe it was a boss you had, a spouse, a child or neighbor. How did it make you feel? The last thing you want as a leader is to make others feel that way.

Being kind isn’t as difficult as you might think. And by practicing some of the suggestions below on a regular basis you can eventually make them habits.

As was mentioned in our post, “Do you believe leaders ought to be kind? Does kindness matter?“, kindness can result in greater loyalty, trustworthiness and steadfastness in those you lead, which can result in higher retention rates, innovative employee ideas and dedicated followers.

Not bad for being kind is it? And research shows that being kind to employees actually improves productivity. Kindness really does matter.

Here are some practical tips on how you, as a leader, can interject more kindness into your day.

1. Smile. One of our most popular posts ever was “Does Smiling Make You a Better Leader? Top Four Reasons You Should Smile More.” Smiling says you care and are approachable. As a result people open up more to you.

2. Say thank you. Have you ever held the door open for someone and watched them pass by without even an acknowledgment? How does that make you feel? The words “thank you” says you appreciate what others do for you and builds positive relationships.

3. Compliment. There are few things that endear people to others more than when pay them a compliment. If you are genuine, specific and timely in your positive affirmations, you will not only improve employee motivation, but loyalty as well.

4. Be positive. The best leaders are positive. They are positive about their employees, others and the organization. They don’t get caught up in gossip and negative talk of other leaders. Being positive inspires people and builds trust, which has the opposite effect of being negative – which drains people.

5. Serve others. Serving others, including those you lead sends the message that you consider them of value. Serving might simply be bringing someone their favorite beverage. It could be helping an employee on a project, or doing something nice for their family.

What other ways do you show kindness as a leader?

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Leave a Comment

  • Martyn Seddon September 10, 2010, 2:23 pm

    I was told once thst being kind is a sign of weakness – I’m still trying to find the logic in that one. I think showing genuine kindness and understanding shows what and who we are as real people and that can only be good for the leader within us.

  • Mike Minzes September 10, 2010, 2:40 pm

    1) Be available. Your staff should know you are always there for whatever they want to talk about. Keeping an open door policy in leadership is a key factor in team building
    2) Never take things personal, but keep a personal touch. The moment you let your personal beliefs take over your decision making, is also the moment you disengage with your staff.
    3) Keep in mind, there are never any bad ideas. Only better ones. Let everyone have a voice.
    4) Let your staff know who is in charge. They are. Without them you wouldn’t be a leader
    5) Forget everything you learned in leadership school. Schools will never be able to teach the first rule of leadership. And the first rule is, “it all about your attitude”
    Great article Mike!

  • Claude Blanc September 10, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Excellent practical advice and straight to the point. Thank you…

  • Rebecca Dykes September 10, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Thanks Mike, more great suggestions!

  • Jiahong Juda September 11, 2010, 8:23 am

    What a thought provoking topic. Thanks you for bring it up.
    Sensing into the topic, I think having kindness as part of our intention and deep commitment can be powerful. “Genuine kindness”, as Martyn mentioned, can be contagious. If people see what you intend to do, small or large, can improve their life, they will follow.

  • Ahmed Raza September 12, 2010, 1:56 am

    I have six “Practical” suggestions;
    1. L – Large – hearted.
    2. E – Ethical
    3. A – Active
    4. D – Devoted to all
    5. E – Etiquette proponent
    6. R – Responsive to crises

  • Mike Rogers September 14, 2010, 6:03 pm

    Thanks everyone for your nice comments and contributions.
    Martyn, I am trying to figure that one out as well. All good leaders I have had kindness was a strength. They could still be tough, but they were kind as well. People who say it is a sign of weakness are usually those who don’t practice it : )
    Mike, thanks for your additional tips. I especially like the last one. It is all about the attitude. And if your attitude as a leader isn’t positive, how can you expect others to be.
    Jiahong, the key is genuine kindness as you say. And it can be very powerful. I believe it results in greater trust, which leads to more people following.
    Ahmed, I love the creativity. Thanks!

  • Amy Brann September 14, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Fantastic article Mike!! Kindness really does matter, that is very true! Thanks for sharing Mike!

  • Guy Farmer November 9, 2010, 12:59 am

    Great ideas. It’s so valuable to promote the idea that leaders can be kind. So many of the problems that arise in the workplace can be traced to leaders who don’t understand what a useful tool kindness can be. I’d also add that a key skill is the ability to listen actively and give employees a voice.

  • Mike Rogers November 9, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Thanks Guy. You are correct, many problems could be avoided with a little kindness. Thanks for your additional items as well : )

  • Lubos Lendvay October 20, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing Mike! I completely agree kindness is essential for quality leadership. It helps to build positive relationships and naturally improves work environment.
    While, it’s not always comfortable or easy to reach out to others, it’s almost always gratifying.

  • Mike Rogers October 28, 2012, 1:17 pm

    You are welcome Lubos : )
    Kindness breeds energy and creates trust. So critical for leaders. Thanks for the comments Lubos.

  • Ara ohanian November 19, 2013, 9:39 am

    Mike, I do agree that being positive and generous is crucial and frequently turn to Dale Carngie whose number one rule is to become genuinely interested in other people. Managers and leaders have a duty to do this with everyone they work with.

  • Trudy July 27, 2015, 3:10 am

    THX that’s a great aneswr!


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