When I wrote The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness, I interviewed twenty-eight leaders. The first question I asked them was to define what kindness is. And an interesting thing happened! Although they could tell me about specific acts of kindness, an exact definition of what kindness is was harder. So I created one:
“Kindness is an act (or set of actions) connecting a person’s internal feelings of empathy and compassion that is undertaken with the purpose of generating a positive effect and outcome for another.” (p. 6 of The Kind Leader)
As you can see from this definition, kindness is about action. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (empathy) and feeling their suffering and wishing you could alleviate it (compassion), isn’t enough. Kindness doesn’t happen until you take action. But going from “thinking about doing something” to actually DOING it, can be difficult: there may be fear, you may not know what to do or how to do it. You may not know if you are doing the right thing. Taking that first step, no matter how small it may seem, can be daunting.
That’s why I created The New School For Kind Leaders. To create a community of people who want to change the world for the better and kinder, through actual practice, and by taking action!
This coming Thursday, March 31st, we’ll be starting our Spring Kind Leader Guided Book Club Community Cohort. On April 5th, we’ll be having a workshop on how to use our five step method for when things don’t go as kindly as you wish, called The 5 Key Steps to Solving a Problem Kindly. And between May 2nd and May 6th, we'll be hosting ORGWell2022, where you can join a whole week of deep dive sessions focused on Kind Leadership, Psychological Safety and Mental Wellness! Perfect for individuals and organizations alike!
I hope you’ll join us! Because, here's the truth: the more you practice deliberately with a community of others for support, the easier it is to ACT and turn your ideas for kindness into reality! And action is what kindness - and kind leadership - is all about!