How kindness affects others in an organization.
Kindness goes a long way and is a consequential asset to have in a workplace, especially when in a leadership position. Kindness is a human quality and an imperative quality to have if we want to lead. Kindness is not weakness. In fact, kindness is the ability to connect with others at a deeper level. It is the ability for us to question a situation from an unbiased stance.
Over the years, I have experienced and seen individuals in leadership positions defame characters of team mates or minimize the voices of team mates by verbalizing the following:
- If you are unhappy, just leave.
- It is great that employee left as he/she was unhappy and we do not need that energy.
- Your manager said that you are the one in the wrong.
When we make statements as above, it reflects poorly on us as leaders. It shows our incompetency in being an empathetic leader and the lack of our ability to question the volatility of the situation. Rather than minimizing a team mate’s voice or blaming them blindly, start with asking WHY as Simon Sinek encourages us to do.
ASK the following questions:
- Why did this employee come to me with this concern? He or she must have a pressing concern that perhaps the only person this team mate trusts is me.
- Why is the environment being created unconducive for this team mate to be unhappy?
- Why is the manager defaming this team mate? Why are these concerns from this manager coming out now only when confronted of the issue of the unhappy team mate?
If we are only kind to one side of the team within a team, it creates a viscous and volatile domain for others to be in. It becomes a cowardly strategy to blame a team mate, who brings up concerns, by using the excuse of them being unhappy. When we eliminate different voices in our team/organization, we are eradicating diversity and inclusiveness. We then extinguish the concept of kindness and create a mono culture.
Humans are a big onion. Peel with care and understand what is in their core. Kindness is an imperative quality to build and maintain relationships with those who agree with us and most importantly with those who disagree with us.
What Does Kindness Do in a Workplace?
- It Builds Trusts
Trust can be built when we are genuine as leaders who want to listen to underlying issues. This is especially imperative when team mates or our employees do not feel safe expressing concerns to their direct supervisors or managers.
- It Promotes Transparent Dialogues
Transparent dialogues happen more when kindness is practised. Upon establishing trust, team mates/employees then feel safe to have transparent conversations. Transparency then brings issues that might be a systemic affair.
- It Allows Us to Dig Deeper
Digging deeper into systemic issues that might potentially hurt other team mates is what leaders do. We stand up for all of our people in our team and not just for a few of them. With trust and transparent information at hand, it allows us to dig deeper and peel the layers of issues then leading us to find innovative solutions.