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Where There's Fear, There's Unkindness...and Unkind Leadership

It’s Monday morning! Maybe you’re on your way to work…or maybe you just got there!

What I’d like you to do is take a moment and check your feelings. Are you content, calm and relaxed? Ready to start the week with happy anticipation? Or are you feeling tired from a poor sleep last night? Uneasy and fearful about what might happen today and this week...

I hope it’s the former, but if it’s not, and you’re feeling anxious and fearful, I’d like you to take a moment and think about what “unkindness” is leading you to be fearful. Are you afraid that your boss might call you out in a meeting or roll their eyes when you share an idea? Are you afraid that your leader might speak to you in a condescending, patronizing or other disrespectful way? Are you afraid that you can't be your whole, authentic self at work? Because, where you feel fear, you can be sure that there’s "unkindness"lurking nearby. And the fear of being treated unkindly leads to stress, anxiety and holds you back from doing your best and being your best.

So here’s what to do if you are feeling fearful:

  • Think carefully about what (and who) you are afraid of, and what unkindness you are worried about and why.

  • Raise your concerns to your leader or someone you trust, if your leader is the one that is acting unkindly

If you, yourself, are in a leadership role and see and hear fear from people on your team, or in your organization, please:

  • Stop and ask them what unkindness they are worried about: Unkind words from leaders or coworkers? Being called out, embarrassed or treated unkindly?

  • Actively work to remove unkind ways of acting, speaking and thinking and replace them with kind ones.

Because that's what Kind Leaders do. They actively work to eliminate the unkindness that people experience that leads to fear. And they model ways to Think Kindly, Speak Kindly and Act Kindly to create trust and peace instead.

Kind Leaders know that no one wants to work (or live) in fear! The more unkindness we eliminate, the less fear all of us will have!

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