In many organizations, most managers and supervisors think that the only way to get things done is to be cool, efficient, and direct with their team. Some leaders, who are kind in nature, choose to adjust their personalities to have a more professional demeanor in the workplace, not knowing that leading with kindness is one of the best ways to get the best results in the office.
According to Kathleen Henson, founder and CEO of Henson Consulting (via CNBC), kindness can be perceived as a feminine trait. If men—or women—address a certain situation with a softer approach, they can be dismissed as being ineffective or weak.
However, this shouldn’t discourage bosses from leading with kindness. Henson said that one would be better off by leading with a kind word or gesture rather than barking a command or sending a terse email. Not only will a leader’s kindness make business associates feel a sense of trust and comfort, it will actually benefit everyone in the long run.
Here are some tips on how to lead with kindness.
Observe which member of your team needs compassion today. It could be someone who has had personal struggles or is grieving a relationship or a loved one. It can also be someone who has physical maladies or is struggling to perform well in the office. Show your concern, and offer a kind word to those who clearly need it.
Recognize and celebrate achievements
It is essential to recognize achievements in order to motivate your team members. People need to feel acknowledged, so treat your team to lunch for a job well done. You can also send an office email commending a team member for all the good work and goals that he has achieved.
Celebrate their birthdays, and give your team members a gift during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must be thoughtful.
Know your people
Learn about your people’s skills, family life, and interests. It is difficult to lead effectively when you don’t form a bond with the people whose lives and income are dependent on the decisions that the leader makes.
Be a mentor
Offer to be a mentor to someone who clearly needs guidance in his or her career. As a mentor, you’re in the position to change someone’s life, and in the process, you may also find that the life you end up changing could be your own.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on female characters in literature with the best leadership skills.