“Why don’t people just do what they are supposed to do? I shouldn’t have to ‘hold their hand’ so they can get their work done.” That’s probably THE most common question I get from leaders on a daily basis. And here’s what I always answer: “Because they are people”! And then I ask them a question: “Have you gone to see the person and asked them what is preventing them from getting their work done in the way that you’d like them to?” Often the leader I’m talking with then gets a sheepish look on their face and says “I haven’t”. In my experience, most people want to do what their leader has asked them to. They want to contribute and they want to excel. And if they aren’t, there is something holding them back:
Maybe they don’t know how to do the work
Maybe they don’t have confidence
Maybe there are conflicting priorities and they are being pulled in many ways
Maybe something difficult is going on at home
People simply need more support and help to accomplish things than many leaders would like. That’s okay. And often, as people, we need someone to hold our hand, help us and guide us through. That’s okay too! And it's what leadership, and kindness, is all about! Reaching out a helping had so that people can learn, grow and develop! So, when you are wearing your Leader Hat, next time you find yourself thinking “Why didn’t so-and-so…..?” please get up, go to see them, and extend a helping hand! Ask them "How can I help you?" And then help them!
Once you've "done what you are supposed to do" as a Kind Leader, they will be able to do what they are "supposed to do" as well!
To learn more about Acting Kindly as a leader, please see Chapter 6 of The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness.