This should be your New Year's resolution
Rebecca Robins CCMI won an award for kindness in leadership in 2018. In this blog she calls for all managers to be kinder this year
Rebecca Robins CCMI
A quote from ancient philosopher Marcus Aurelius says sincere kindness is ‘invincible’. In modern life that statement is as true in business as it in any sector or relationship. We should all resolve to be kinder in 2019.
In the workplace, we don’t operate in autonomous silos; we operate as teams and as collectives. This means so much of what drives a business forward is about what we do together and how we make each other feel. Therefore, kindness is a value that we are responsible for as individuals and as managers.
Technology and empathy can often seem to be mutually exclusive. However, the advantage of kindness in the workplace is being understood in tech circles too. Since becoming chief executive of software giant Microsoft in 2014 Satya Nadella has placed an emphasis on teamwork and co-operation. He has said: “It’s our ability to work together that makes our dreams believable and, ultimately, achievable.” At a recent CMI roundtable, Companions including Maggie Buggie CCMI even proposed that the use of artificial intelligence coupled with human empathy could give rise to a new breed of super-manager.
How to create a kind culture
To create kinder cultures, we need to shift from sharing abstract definitions of kindness and understand what it means to act with kindness. As a manager, leading with kindness is leading with understanding, with empathy, with trust, honesty and transparency. It's supporting people to be their best in every way, and at every level. It requires ‘showing the love’ and ‘telling it like it is’.
We must also ensure there is zero tolerance of any conflict and toxicity in the workplace.
If we adopt kindness as managers then we will help to build a professional culture that attracts, retains and motivates talent. It’s simple business sense to invest our energy in how – as well as where – the real work gets done. Kindness motivates both the speaker and the listener.
Rebecca Robins CCMI is global chief learning and culture officer at Interbrand