No one, and no leader (including me and you), is 100% kind all the time!
The other day I had a conversation with someone who wasn't happy with me. They said, "But Karyn, you aren't kind all the time, so don't you think it's hypocritical that you wrote a book and post about Kind Leadership and have a non-profit for Kindness?"
I think that they expected me to be angry with them, but I wasn't. Or to argue with them, but I didn't. Here is how I responded.
I said, "You are 100% right. I'm not kind all the time. And I don't always lead as kindly as I'd like to. No one does. That is because I'm a person, and I'm not perfect. No one, and no leader is. And that is okay. Because kindness and Kind Leadership aren't about perfection...they are about practice! And every day, every moment, I keep practicing!"
Before leaders are anything else, they are people. Imperfect, fallible, people.
And all people (including me) have things that make them upset and things that make them angry. They get tired and over-stressed, run out of patience and have a bad day. All things that can lead people to speak unkindly, act unkindly and make decisions that consider others' needs, just their own.
As people, we need to be able to acknowledge that we aren't perfect. And to own up to our lack of kindness when it happens by apologizing, making things right, and then deliberately and actively practicing the strategies and techniques that will help us understand the things that trigger us to act, speak and think unkindly.
Just because you aren't kind 100% of the time, doesn't mean you should give up your practice!
Because, over time, through practice, I know that I can - and will - become a kinder person and a kinder leader.
And so will you.
So I will keep practicing every single moment of every single day, and I hope you will too!
For practical ways to practice, please pick up a copy of The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness. It's filled with easy ideas that you can use to practice starting right now!