Everyone has moments of stress and anxiety, but leaders are people who have to show up again and again in those situations. And though it can be difficult, there are many ways to lead with kindness while still achieving your goals.
Leadership isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright stressful at times. There will be days when you feel like you’re the only one who cares about your business or its future. Other days might require you to make difficult decisions, so how do you lead with kindness in these situations? How do you lead with kindness when your own personal goals may not align with everyone else’s? Here are three ways that can help achieve your goals while keeping your team balanced.
Create transparency and trust with your team
If people feel like they can’t trust you and that they don’t have a full understanding of what is happening, they will have a hard time feeling like they want to do their best work. And that can be a problem if you’re trying to achieve specific results.
The best way to create transparency and build trust with your team is to make sure that you’re communicating with them in an open and honest way. This includes things like holding regular team meetings where you talk about what is happening and what everyone’s role is in achieving the team’s goals.
You can also make sure that you are accessible to your team members and that they feel comfortable asking questions and sharing feedback. Being open and learning to listen is one of the key skills of every leader and you need to apply this mindset from day one.
Show care in the way you speak to people
Leaders often forget that the way they talk to people matters just as much as what they’re actually saying. And while you might think that barking orders or using a hard tone are the only ways to get things done, it can also come at the cost of being kind. If you want to lead with kindness, try showing care in the way you speak to others by using softer words and tones. It can be as simple as pausing before you say something or taking a deep breath before responding to feedback or questions.
There are other ways to show care in the way you speak to your team as well. Try using phrases like “I’d love to hear your thoughts on this” or “What do you think about this decision?” to show that you want to hear what others have to say. And when you need to make decisions that aren’t popular with everyone, try to explain your reasoning instead of shutting down with a “because I said so” type of response.
Don’t forget to celebrate small wins
Leading with kindness doesn’t just happen in the moments when things are super stressful or dramatic. It also means making sure that everyone feels valued and appreciated during the good times as well. One way to celebrate the small wins of your team members is by using something known as recognition marking.
With recognition marking, you highlight both the work that someone has done as well as what they are trying to achieve. So, for example, if someone puts tons of hours into a mixer or event, you could mark that by celebrating with a special lunch. Recognizing your team’s small wins and yours too helps motivation.
Leading with kindness isn’t just a nice-to-have. It can actually help you achieve your goals quicker with a more motivated and productive team. When people feel valued by their leaders, trust is built and people are more likely to go above and beyond in their work. But in order to lead with kindness, you need to be intentional about it.
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