The Power of Kindness In Leadership Interview

The following are answers to a journalist question on kindness.


  • Why is being kind important?

Kindness is an inherent part of our DNA. Experiments at Yale University using games with babies have proven that kindness is inherent to our being human which is why it is fundamental to effective leadership. We are alive today because we were nurtured over the years by the kindness of our parents.

The importance of kindness was captured by Mark Twain when he wrote that: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” The fact is that kindness feels good when people are good to each other. Leadership kindness is also rewarding since it is mutually beneficial to both the giver and the receiver.


  • How does being kind engage employees?

Leaders who use the Power of Kindness are highly effective in engaging employees because it satisfies deep needs within them which is why it fosters greater loyalty.


  • Why isn’t there a lot of kindness at work?

The reason why there is not a lot of kindness at work is because of the Mechanistic Paradigm upon which most organizational cultures are built. Machines are hard and unemotional, which is why being cold and unemotional works against “soft” virtues such as being kind to each other. An exclusive focus by the mechanistic leadership paradigm on the external world works against kindness since it only can come from within. Another factor is that many leaders don’t show kindness to themselves which makes it hard for them to show kindness to employees.


  • What is perception of kindness in the workplace?

Kindness is viewed as not important, since it is viewed as a sign of weakness. Also, because of the narrow perspective of a profit at-all-cost mentality, kindness is not valued.


  •  What are some of the results of leaders who are kind?

Kindness helps employees feel good about themselves through leadership encouragement and support. Also, acts of kindness by leaders show employees respect which creates respect back in turn.


  • How does kindness affect the workplace?

Kindness affects the workplace by creating an organizational environment that fosters constructive feedback which conveys the message that leaders genuinely care about employees.  Mentoring and coaching are other ways that leaders can manifest kindness in the workplace. Being kind to employees helps them grow and become better at what they do. It also strengthens the feeling of community within companies. Kind leaders are naturally effective net workers because people get that they really care about them.


  •  How does kindness affect competition communication and relationships?

Competition is reduced by kindness when leaders truly want employees to succeed. Kindness greatly enhances communication by motivating people to be genuine in what they say to each other. Work relationships are improved, since kindness is about how we treat others for the better. Being warmhearted is the source of kindness and genuine communication which both come from the heart.


  • Does kindness bolster innovation?

Kindness creates an inspirational work environment which fosters innovation by giving employees permission to try something different and if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay.


  •  How does kindness affect employee retention?

Kindness affects employees by creating a work environment characterized by trustworthiness and steadfastness which leads to a higher retention rate. Kindness and authenticity are connected, since they are both based in truth. Leaders can’t fake kindness.


  • What are some examples of leaders who showed kindness?

Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, many leaders who run non-profit organizations in the helping professions.


  • What are some examples of what leaders can do to show kindness?

The following are ways leaders can show leadership kindness:

  • Do little things such as holding a door for someone or saying thank you both of which can create an increase in morale.
  • Celebrate the success of others at work.
  • Smile because it is an easy way to create a positive work environment.
  • Give complements since nothing is as effective as positive encouragement.
  • Be of service to others, since leadership kindness is motivated by the desire to be of help to others.
  • Be thoughtful, since it provides the mental framework for being kind to another human being.

The answers to The Power of Kindness in Leadership questions are derived from the online workshop: How to Become a Transcendent Leader:  Learn over Lunch Online Seminar Series by Jack Beauregard on Fridays at noon EST starting on April 26, 2019.


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