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Myth #2: Kind Leaders Finish Last

Today’s Kind Leadership Myth to bust: That if you Lead with Kindness, you won’t get “results:. In one of our Kind Leader Guided Book Club Sessions, a participant told us about a leader they were coaching. Every time the leader wanted something done, they barked a command. When asked about why they spoke so harshly, the leader said “If I ask people to do things nicely, they won’t do it.”

If you believe this “myth”, I’d like you to spend some time reflecting on why! One of the first things our parents teach us, and we learn in kindergarten, is that using the word “please” when asking people to do something…and saying “thank you” when they do it, is the kind way to treat people! In my experience, barking orders at people is less likely to get a positive response from people because:

  • Harsh words & tones of voice invoke fear. And when people are fearful they might experience “flight” or “freeze” making them less likely to do what is asked of them!

  • They also might experience “fight” and instead of “complying” they might decide not to do what’s asked, or exert the only “power” they feel like they have. Resistance.

Because kindness eliminates fear and creates trust, Kind Leadsership produces better business results. A research study by Dr. Paul Zak found that “high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work and 50% more productivity” to name a few. You can read more about the benefits to business results on page 50 of The Kind Leader!

Kind Leaders don’t finish last. They create cultures in which people feel psychologically safe, learn and grow, create and innovate and stay! So the next time you think that people won’t “comply” if you are kind, please think again. Unkind leaders may “win” the short-term battle, but ultimately they’ll lose the “war” for people’s hearts, minds and loyalty.


Want to be part of an amazingly kind, thoughtful and supportive community? Then please join our next Kind Leader Guided Book Club Community Cohort! Next on is starting in September! We'd love for you to be a part of it!

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