“How can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel? Easy to be hard, easy to be cold…” (Three Dog Night)
Yesterday, I was cleaning up in my studio, and, as I took a break, I spent a few moments leafing through my issue of ISE Magazine. I had read the articles (including an interview with me about kindness, and kind leadership at work), but somehow had missed this great introduction to the issue that editor Keith Albertson wrote. It’s such a great piece, that I decided to share it here. You can read it above.
As a Kind Leader, you need to remember that today’s workplaces are more diverse than ever. Our cities, towns and neighborhoods are too. As people, we have the opportunity to meet and encounter so many who experiences, beliefs, opinions and ways of doing things that are different than our own. When we see something that doesn’t match our experience, views and beliefs, as people, it’s easy to “harden our hearts”, to say to ourselves “that’s not my way, so it can’t be right”.
But as a Kind Leader, at work, and in your community, please remember that it is your responsibility to practice kindness, and open your heart and mind, to model those behaviors for those who follow you. Here are some things that you can actively do:
If someone prefers and asks to be referred to by a different pronoun, give it a try! Even if it feels strange and uncomfortable for you in the beginning. And remember, you don’t have to change your pronouns if you don't want to. That's your choice!
If someone has a different view on a political issue, hear them out and just listen. You don't have to argue with them to convince them that your views are the right, and only, views. Respect their views and their their choices even if it isn’t what you would do.
Being a Kind Leader means that you can model the behaviors of Thinking, Speaking and Acting Kindly that support all different kind of choices, and the culture of "You can make your choice and others can make theirs. Even if they are different and we don't agree, we can respect others ways of doing things."
At the end of the piece above, Keith says:
“Kindness and diversity are pillars of building a successful foundation in any venture. That starts with making a better effort to respect others and their unique personas. It’s easy to be hard, so let’s make that our goal in a Summer of Kindness.”
Great words of wisdom. Thank you Keith, for your kindness and your leadership
Today, when you are at work, at home and out in the community, please think about how you can open your mind and your heart and practice kindness, even when you don’t agree with someone else. As a Kind Leader, the more you practice, the easier it becomes...for yourself, and those who you influence!
To learn more about how to Listen with Open Eyes, Open Ears, Open Mind and an Open Heart, the second of the Three Key Kind Leader Act Kindly Practices, please see Chapter 6 of The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness!