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Kindness: The golden rule

Nice guys finish lastKindness. In the best of circumstances, we are taught that the golden rule is to have this tenet guide our behavior and our way in the world.

As we grow up however, we realize that many people never actually internalize the golden rule. As we interact with the callousness, indifference, or the negative intentions of others, many of us begin to feel disempowered and vulnerable in their wake. We may actually begin to think that nice guys finish last — which is actually the farthest thing from the truth.

What we do see is that research shows that companies and leaders that cultivate kindness as an essential part of their culture achieve better results, experience lower turnover, and see higher profit margins. Kindness practices also help leaders cultivate the highest good for all involved: workers, managers, leaders, organization, consumers, partners, world.

Kindness is simply a positive desire, rooted in empathy and compassion, to see success for those around you. Companies that cultivate kindness as an essential part of their culture do better and last longer. According to studies conducted by the Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization, “Organizational psychology research has repeatedly shown that a negative, cutthroat environment leads employees to become disengaged. And a business with a disengaged workforce will experience, on average, 16% lower profitability and a 65% lower share price over time than a business with an engaged workforce.”

Workplace stress is also bad for continuity in your workforce as it is associated with almost half of voluntary turnover, according to the American Institute of Stress.

This is just the tip of an iceberg of the research that reveals the common sense idea that compassionate, thoughtful leaders generally create a great place to work.

Leadership Landing defines kind leaders as those that “exhibit empathy and compassion, and integrate the needs of the business with the needs of team members and colleagues.” Let’s look at the two parts of this definition.

The first part of this definition is to exhibit empathy and compassion. In the Kindness Workshop we look to define empathy and compassion, understand what it means to exhibit these traits, and take the opportunity to practice. We discuss the challenges in exhibiting these characteristics at work with different people and circumstances. We work to develop the characteristics of kindness so we can hold them in focus regardless of the situation or circumstance.

The second part of the definition is to integrate the needs of the business with the needs of team members and colleagues. In this part of the workshop, we dive deeply into practical discussion, acknowledging and working within the limits and parameters of the organization. Participants examine what motivates them personally, and learn how to act from their highest intention for themselves and others, even under pressure.

Kindness is one of the Leadership Landing’s 5 Attributes of Five Leaders. Think a Kindness workshop may be helpful for your team or organization?

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Awaken the leader within

Our sole purpose at Leadership Landing is to help leaders awaken great leadership within themselves and their organizations. Often that process starts with an idea.  Our blog explores questions and ideas that leaders face through the lens of the Five Attributes of Great Leadership. Come explore with us »

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