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World Kindness Day was this Wednesday, November 13 (did you take our challenge? If not, it’s never too late to be kind!) so we wanted to take a closer look at what it means to lead with kindness.

Every leader has their own style of leadership, but statistics on those who lead with kindness are overwhelming. For example:

  • A study that tracked 51,836 leaders noted that the most likable leaders who expressed warmth were also the most effective.
  • According to Harvard Business Review, research has shown that the most powerful way leaders can improve employee well-being is not through programs and initiatives but through day-to-day actions.
  • A study in the U.K. found that eight in ten Brits would not accept a role, even if it paid more, if it meant working with people they did not get along with.
  • Did you know people who practice compassion produce 23% less cortisol, which is the hormone associated with stress?
  • Studies show that workers who feel compassion from their employers are likely to work harder – even up to 30% longer on difficult tasks.

We could go on and on…but the moral of the story is that when you humanize the art of leadership and business with compassion and kindness, you ultimately gain the respect and trust of your team members.

Below are a few ways you too can lead with kindness.

  1. Show Appreciation

Celebrate a colleagues’ accomplishments to demonstrate you care or thank team members for their assistance or job well done. Recognition is the number one thing employees say their employers can give them that will inspire them to work hard and provide the best results in their role.

  1. Be Understanding; Listen

When issues arise, be the leader or team member that employees feel comfortable coming to with their problems. As we say in our U the Communicator class, we have 2 ears and 1 mouth 4 a reason. Listen. Be understanding of where they’re coming from and help problem solve instead of reprimand.

  1. Ingrain Kindness Into Company Culture

A company’s people are their biggest asset. When you set a standard for kindness within the company’s values and culture, this in turn sets a precedence for all others to follow and appreciate.

  1. Organize Team Building Activities

Whether it’s as simple as a team lunch or happy hour, or something more in-depth that will bring a team closer while you each grow as individuals, like our U the Leader course, organizing these activities will show that you truly care about taking time out for your team.

Begin implementing some of these strategies and you will easily see how far a little kindness can take a team.