How to lead others in a way that helps their hurts and makes their life better

Part 3 in a blog series about leading with kindness

Leading with empathy

Connect to others through empathy.

People just want to be understood

When is the last time you experienced hurt or pain?

Was it during the midst of a struggle emotionally? Did you have all of the answers? Probably not. Most likely, you wished that someone was able to see deep inside of your heart and understand what you were going through.

You already knew that answers weren’t always possible; but it would’ve been so nice in that moment for someone to simply take the time to understand, or at least put in the effort to know what you were feeling.

It really means the world to those going through tough situations, hurt, or even physical pain, if you can put in the effort to see things through their eyes; and that is exactly what having empathy does.

Empathy allows you to see what someone else is seeing and do your best to feel what they feel. It is putting yourself in their place and trying to understand why they made the decisions they did; or seeking to know the reason the feel the way they do. Empathy is not easy, especially if you’ve never actually been in the place where the person you’re seeking to empathize with is at.

But, for a leader, it’s necessary to put in the effort to empathize. Why? Because a genuine leader wants to know what the people they’re leading feel. They want to come to a place where they can lead their followers better. To do this, you have to understand where people are at; and where they are coming from. Empathy helps you do this.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A genuine leader wants to know what the people they’re leading feel.” quote=”A genuine leader wants to know what the people they’re leading feel.” theme=”style3″]

In the last post, we talked about compassion, and certainly we need to have it; but truthfully, it is nearly impossible to have real compassion for another person if you are not actively trying to understand their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

A leader worth his or her salt will care how other people feel. They will seek to lead them based on empathy.

Now, with this being said…Are there moments when the person you’re seeking to influence needs to change they way they feel? Yes. Just because a person feels a certain way, doesn’t necessarily makes their feelings correct; but for a leader who wants to lead with kindness, before you try to change people, you have to seek to understand them.

As it has been aptly stated, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Empathizing with people shows this care.

Leaders care how others feel

Put yourself in someone’s place

This is one of the most basic rules of empathy.

To understand someone, you have to get into their shoes to some degree.

How do you do that?

Of the several ways this can be accomplished, two of the best are to be aware of other people’s feelings; and being sensitive to their feelings.

Being aware of something is to simply know that it exists.

Far too often, leaders don’t have a clue when it comes to the feelings of those they are trying to lead; but how can you lead someone to a new place if they are hurting and don’t want to move?

You can’t. There are moments when a leader’s best intuition should be to stop and help those they are trying to lead. Maybe you cannot actually help them, maybe their problems are too great or there is no real answer; but at the very least, as a leader you need to be aware.

Being aware of someone’s hurt is kind; and if you want to influence others for their good, then kindness is what you need. Empathy shows kindness.

In fact, a leader without awareness won’t be able to lead for long. He or she will eventually run into something that takes them out.

Another way to lead people with kindness and show empathy is through being sensitive to their feelings. This takes awareness a step further. It is not just knowing that a hurt, pain, or problem exists; but it is making sure you don’t gouge it with your words and actions.

[clickToTweet tweet=”No one wants someone to lead them who doesn’t care about how they feel.” quote=”No one wants someone to lead them who doesn’t care about how they feel.” theme=”style3″]

I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too, when a leader actually said or did something that made your emotional pain worse. Leaders are supposed to do everything they can to heal the hurts of those they lead. As a leader, being sensitive is something you need to learn. It is a skill that will help you effectively lead people who are dealing with hurt.

People are drawn to empathy

When a leader shows a real care and concern for the hurting, people will naturally gravitate towards him or her.

Why does this happen?

For two reasons…

First of all, we want to be near those who understand our hurt because they are in a unique place to help us. Second, people who are not hurting are drawn to a leader who shows empathy because they sense a care and concern in the leader and they want to be associated with a leader who helps and serves others.

As with compassion, a leader doesn’t show empathy to gain followers; but the end result is the same. People flock to those who are more about others than they are about themselves. A leader cannot lose by having empathy for people.

No one wants someone to lead them who doesn’t care about how they feel.

How to win with others

Here’s what to do

Empathy takes work and practice. It isn’t easy to feel what others feel, especially if you’ve never been there. With that being said, there is still something you can do to become a better empathizer.

Here it is:

Get close to those who are hurting.

The best way to start feeling the hurts of those you lead is to get close enough to them to see what they’re going through. It is much easier to identify with someone when you are near their pain.

When you are near someone’s pain, you see all that they are going through. You start to put yourself in their place. When you can see and empathize with the emotional, physical, or spiritual hurts of people, you’re in a place where you can begin to help them.

Being a leader is all about helping those you lead.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Being a leader is all about helping those you lead.” quote=”Being a leader is all about helping those you lead.” theme=”style3″]

The words of scripture are very clear about what God seeks to do for us…In Psalms 147:3 the Bible says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Now, you may not have the power to heal; but you certainly have the ability to bind up a wound.

Leaders who lead with kindness do this through empathy. It makes people feel heard and validated when others take the time to place themselves in someone else’s shoes.

So, who are you getting close to?

In your leadership, do you make time for hurting people, or do you simply cast them aside as casualties and liabilities?

Genuine leaders want to get close enough to others to help bind up their hurts and feel their pain.

 

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How to lead people further faster with an often neglected quality

Part 2 in a blog series about leading with kindness

Lead with compassion

Compassion is simple to understand.

Take a moment and think back into your past.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been through some difficult situations and challenging circumstances; things that have put your endurance, faith, and resolve to the test.

More than likely you didn’t know what to do, or where to turn at certain junctures of your life. You may have experienced hardships that brought you low and threatened to harm you or your family’s way of living.

These moments of uncertainty are never easy; and we often take the wrong turn in life during them. So, let me ask you a question…

If you’ve ever been sick, or lonely, hurt, disillusioned, confused, or in great need…how did you want people to respond to you?

We have all needed help at some point in our life; and the cardinal rule is simple:

What you do comes back to you.

In those trying times, you probably didn’t want someone to show up and act as a know-it-all. You most likely realized too, that not all your problems could be solved through easy means. But what sort of difference would it have made to you, the last time you were really struggling, if someone would have just shown you genuine compassion?

Compassion is the leader’s ally. It opens the door to the heart.

When you freely give someone compassion, even if you can’t actually meet there need, at the very least, you’ve reached out to their heart.

Compassion is part of kindness.

To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.

[clickToTweet tweet=”To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.” quote=”To lead with kindness, a leader must use compassion to reach the heart of those who are hurting.” theme=”style3″]

As a leader seeking to influence others for their benefit, compassion unlocks doors that were previously shut tight in someone’s life.

It makes a real difference when a leader leads with compassion.

Truthfully, isn’t compassion what you want when life gets difficult?

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Genuine leaders show compassion

Difficult times require a caring heart.

This is where compassion comes in.

It is that feeling of wanting to help someone in need.

Now, there have been plenty of situations where I experienced great need, you have too. And in many of those times, a friend or family member would come alongside of me and show compassion.

They may not have had the resources to help me, or the answer to my problem; but the simple act of showing compassion meant the world. Why? Because I could feel that they wanted to help.

Believe it or not, those people influenced me and some have even become leaders in my life, simply because I saw in them, a heart of concern and care for me.

Never underestimate the power of compassion.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Never underestimate the power of compassion.” quote=”Never underestimate the power of compassion.” theme=”style3″]

Let me ask you a question:

As a leader, are you able to look at someone through a tender heart and realize, “this person needs help”?

If a leader cannot feel this basic compassion for someone, he or she won’t go very far in their influence. They may have a title, or hold a position; but they won’t really be a leader; because leadership is about influencing others.

Compassion in a real leader’s heart doesn’t just stop when it recognizes a problem. It goes a step further. To lead with kindness means that you don’t only see that a person needs help; but you say to yourself, “this person needs my help”.

Leaders are willing to step in with compassion when others have already checked out because they don’t know how to help. A leader will find ways to show compassion to hurting people.

Leaders who lead with kindness understand the power of using compassion.

Now, here’s the thing when it comes to compassion and leadership:

Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.

To the contrary, effective leaders want to show compassion because they have a genuine care and concern for people.

Real leaders who desire to make others go forward, are not out for their own benefit; but instead, seek the growth of those they lead. Compassion is a powerful tool of persuasion and influence; but it should never be used as false quality.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.” quote=”Genuine leaders don’t show compassion to others just to gain followers.” theme=”style3″]

When a leader leverages compassion, it is meant to be a tool used to aid, help, restore, and fix someone’s heart. When leaders think in these terms, they become the sort of leaders that other not only need; but what people want too.

Everyone is looking for someone to genuinely care about them. It’s something built into us. We need and want people in our lives that have positive effects on us. Whether the leader can actually fix the problem isn’t always the point. The point is, a leader becomes effective when they care about others and show real compassion.

There’s a hidden, often overlooked secret going on behind the scenes when leaders reach out to touch a heart through compassion…People follow them.

In fact, people are always drawn to those who reach out to help them in their time of need. And the thing is, needs can show up in all sorts of categories.

Shepherd your followers

There are physical needs that can be met through giving physical help. An example might be the person who gives to feed the hungry, or donates clothing, or even someone who opens their home in a time of need to a hurting family member.

There are also emotional needs which can often be helped by simply offering genuine words of care and concern. When it comes to helping people emotionally, the vast majority of leaders aren’t necessarily trained to deal with everything; yet, in the end we call all offer a kind word of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, or we can share in the joy of a hard-won victory.

Finally, every person has spiritual needs whether they realize it or not. And for the Christian leader, it’s important to show compassion to those who are hurting spiritually. Unfortunately, many leaders look at those with spiritual problems and the leader feels like they are better than them somehow.

But when it comes to spirituality, we are all on a level playing field. If it weren’t for the transforming power of Jesus Christ, no one would stand a chance at overcoming their spiritual deficiencies.

What should a Godly leader do?

Godly leaders have one great need:

They need to model the character of God as it relates to compassion.

To get an idea of God’s character in compassion, let me quickly share a few scriptures to see it in action.

Psalm 86:15 NLTse

15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

It is easy to see how to apply a verse like this to our leadership. Simply ask yourself, “am I quick to show mercy, or do I hold mistakes over people’s head?”

Ask yourself, “Do I get angry quick, or am I tempered and slow to be angry?”

And the big question, “Am I a leader who shows love?”

Now, love may not be a word generally associated with leadership; but for a leader who seeks to model Christ, love is non-negotiable.

The prophet Hosea paints a graphic picture of the compassion of God, even towards people who have wronged Him.

Hosea 11:8 NLTse

8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.

The big difference between God and people is shown through what happens when our heart is torn apart by those we lead.

When God’s heart has been torn by the hurtful words, deeds, and actions of those He loves, His heart bleeds compassion for them. How often has your heart poured out compassion when it’s been hurt by those you lead?

Finally, we see one more important illustration in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 9:36 NLTse

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus was a tremendous leader; and His following proved that and continues to do so. Why was His leadership so effective? Because He took the opportunity to really see people.

And when He saw their hurts, their needs, and their problems…Jesus’ automatic response was compassion.

All great leaders become shepherds of the people they lead. They desire to lead their “flock” into good fields where they can become healthy and strong. Until your leadership can truly “see” others for what they are going through, you won’t be able to show compassion.

Here’s what to do:

1. Take the time to “see” people’s need.

2. Be slow to get angry; but quick to show mercy.

3. Respond to the hurts of others with a heart of love.

4. Care for those who follow your leadership as a shepherd would care for his flock.

Why your influence is lagging and how to increase it by 4x

Part 1 in a blog series about leading with kindness

the power of kindness No. 1

Kindness is powerful.

When is the last time someone was kind to you?

I don’t mean just saying, “hello”, or giving a smile in passing. When is the last time someone was truly kind to you on purpose?

This is an important question, one that deserves a real answer.

Why? Because kindness is powerful. It has the ability to do something in a person’s heart that nothing else can really do.

Kindness overcomes difficulties in relationships. It establishes something about an individual’s character; and it helps make you into a leader that influences others.

With this being said, there’s something else you need to know:

There is a difference between passive kindness and active kindness.

Should a person be passively kind? Sure.

Passive kindness is that quality your teachers, parents, Sunday school teacher, and grandmother tried to instill in you. It is the automatic response you give when a person is kind to you.

If someone says, “hello”, the passively kind thing to do is say it back to them. When a person speaks a kind word, or helps you with a project, or gives you a gift…you learned as a child that the proper response is to say, “thank you”.

All of these responses are good and right. Passive kindness is a great quality to possess.

Active kindness quote

But here’s the problem with passive kindness:

Passive kindness is simply a response to the kindness of others.

What this implies is powerful, because it means passive kindness may not show itself unless someone is kind to you first.

But there is another way to behave. There is another action you can purpose to take; and it’s called active kindness.

Active kindness is a leadership quality that can further your influence in others for their benefit. It will make you a trusted leader who has the ability to help others, establish solid relationships, and ultimately be happier with yourself.

The reason active kindness is so powerful is because it’s a choice.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The reason active kindness is so powerful is because it’s a choice. #Leadership #kindness ” quote=”The reason active kindness is so powerful is because it’s a choice. #Leadership #kindness ” theme=”style3″]

It is you making the decision to be kind to others whether they are kind to you or not.

The power of active kindness inspires others to trust you and look to you for help because they see you making a choice to reach out to them. This choice isn’t something you have to do, rather, it is what you want to do.

People naturally gravitate towards those who show them kindness, especially when that kindness isn’t looking for a reward or payback of any sort.

Kindness that’s active will make you a better leader; and it will help you help others for their benefit.

So, if you have a desire to serve others and want to become a trusted leader, active kindness is the quality you need to develop.

Kindness is the real currency

Here’s why other leaders fail, and why you don’t have to

The simple reason is that they leave out kindness.

You don’t have to make the same mistakes that many other leaders make when they strive for power and influence through cruelty or dictatorship. Those things will never work; certainly, not long-term.

People want a leader who has his or her followers’ best interests at heart. They won’t follow a person long-term, who they perceive is in it for personal gain.

That’s why I’m writing this post.

I want to help leaders realize that kindness is the real currency of influence.

[clickToTweet tweet=”I want to help leaders realize that kindness is the real currency of influence. #Influence” quote=”I want to help leaders realize that kindness is the real currency of influence. #Influence” theme=”style3″]

And to help you understand that leadership is more about others than it is about yourself. My passion is to help you see that leading for the benefit of others, not for your own advancement, is the best path to real God-given leadership and influence.

Now, before I give you the secret of how to 4x your leadership and influence let me take a moment to explain one other valuable concept.

Everyone is a leader.

From the teacher at a rural school in farming country, to the parent who struggles to get by, to the pastor in a small church who wants to make an impact on others, to the person simply trying to be a good neighbor and friend.

Leadership is really just about influencing for the benefit of others…helping them go forward in life.

Every person has the God-given ability to influence someone. Even you. You can influence your children, friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. You have the all the resources you need to push other people forward in life.

When you do, something magical happens…they want to follow you. Why? Because people are very interested in, and become very invested in, a person who cares about them.

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Practicing kindness

How to 4x your influence by being K.I.N.D.(kindness)

There are only four things you really need to do if you want to increase your influence and become the leader you desire to be.

We will focus on an acronym I developed using the word K.I.N.D.

Each letter stands for an action you need to take if you want to be a leader who increases his or her influence. All of these actions put the focus on others, and help you lead from the standpoint of helping other people go forward in life.

So, here they are…

The letter “K”, stand for:

Keep others first.

If you want to transform your leadership and multiply it, the first lesson to remember is that leading people is about them, not about you.

Many people get hung up on titles and position, when they think about effective leadership; but those things are from the past. Power, titles, and position won’t work in today’s leadership economy.

Instead, kindness is the real currency.

The letter “I”, stands for:

Initiate action.

To lead people, you have to take action. No one can claim to lead people if they aren’t willing to take action.

Taking action that ultimately benefits those following you will gain their trust and multiply your influence in their life.

If you hope to increase your leadership, then you better take action quick.

The letter “N”, stands for:

Never pass judgment.

This is a hard statement, because one of the easiest things to do is judge others based on a skewed standard.

You don’t really know why someone made a particular decision until you start getting to know them. Finding a place in someone’s heart will help you better understand what makes them tick; and it will give you the opportunity to invest in their life.

Finally, the letter “D”, stands for:

Desire for others what you would want for yourself.

Why would a leader practice a standard any less than this? I’m really not sure why they would. Because the truth is, if you want to influence other people, you have to put them first. They have to know deep inside that you really do care about them; that you want something great for their life.

Practicing active kindness makes leadership ability and influence multiply.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Practicing active kindness makes leadership ability and influence multiply. #Leadership” quote=”Practicing active kindness makes leadership ability and influence multiply. #Leadership” theme=”style3″]

Every day you have the choice to passively react or actively lead. Which are you going to choose?

It has been said that, “you need to lead with your strengths”. This is similar to putting your best foot forward; and I can’t think of a better leadership “foot” to put forward than kindness.

How to be an unforgettable leader who makes others win through kindness

On the better side of pain and suffering

Lead others with kindness

Leadership is linked to kindness.

Kindness towards people in pain (any pain), produces immediate  influence in that person’s life.If you want to increase your leadership and influence in the lives of those you care about most, practice kindness. It’s just that simple. Not a false kindness made only of words; but something real that emanates from deep within your heart.

You know why I now understand this to be true? I’ll tell you…

It was a Wednesday morning when it first started.

I crawled out of bed as usual, ready to get started on my day’s work. With a movement as simple as putting on my pants, it felt like someone hit me in the middle of the back with a hammer. That is the only description I can offer. One of the worst pains I’d ever felt in my body had me on the floor in my previously silent and still bedroom, screaming with pain.

I woke the kids, and my wife.
Out of full disclosure, back pain was nothing new to me. I’d felt this same sort of pain many times before, just not to this level of severity. So I knew instantly what had happened.
Over the next few days, the pain gradually lessened, and I prepared to preach my Sunday morning church service (Oh, in case you didn’t know, I’m a pastor). 
My  “walking stick” (otherwise known as a cane), was something I’d grown accustomed to using around the house; but the thought of using it in public was very humbling to me. As I’ll explain in a moment, my capacity for humility and understanding of other people’s pain was about to be awakened in a hurry.
Sunday morning, I stood in front of my church with my “walking stick” and preached the sermon I had prepared. The feeling of being able to do what I love best was especially exciting that day.
After a restful afternoon, with somewhat less pain, my family again traveled back to our church for the second service of the day.

But later that Sunday night, something changed…

My wife and kids had already went to bed; and I remained in the recliner, resting for a few more minutes before taking the 30 foot walk to our bedroom. But when I got up…
A searing pain began shooting down my right leg.
It started at my hip and ran all the way down to my right foot. To get to bed, I literally had to drag my right leg behind me. Once I finally lay down in the bed, the pain began to subside a little and I thought to myself, “I really overdid things today. Tomorrow I better take it easier until my back and my leg get better.”
This was not to be the case.
On Monday morning, I couldn’t get out of bed.
Any movement produced the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
The pain had increased by 10.
Monday was spent in the bed. I didn’t eat. I couldn’t use the restroom. I couldn’t move…I moaned in utter pain. Around 3:30 p.m. I finally told my wife, “I’ve got to get some help!”
To shorten this story of mine, let me just say…
  • I was in the emergency room twice.
  • A brand new doctor saw me because the ER refused to do anything for me.
  • Thankfully, an MRI was ordered and I was scanned in only a few hours.
  • Upon seeing the condition of my back, I was admitted to the hospital immediately.
  • The next day, I was undergoing back surgery. It was now Thursday.
From Sunday night to Thursday, I experienced the most horrible, excruciating pain I’ve ever felt. It was relentless, with nearly no avenue of relief. There are many who have experienced this sort of pain; and if you have, you’ll completely understand what I’m talking about.

By the way, I don’t write this to move your sympathy. Far from it.

There are many, many people who have dealt with pain much more severe; and worst of all, their pain is ongoing. As I write this article, I’m still in my first two weeks since my surgery. Other than wearing out a little quicker, and some pretty harsh pain in the early mornings, I’m much better. There’s still things I can’t do for myself; and there is a sense of trepidation about my future (physically speaking), but I’ll get through it.

If you would like the PRINTABLE version of this post, click HERE.

The reason for this article is to tell you one of the greatest lessons about leadership I’ve ever learned.

Kindness
Leadership is linked to kindness.
Through my ordeal, and in the time following it…people have shown me so much kindness that it overwhelmed me.
For starters…my family was there for me. My wife hasn’t left my side. She has taken care of me with such great affection, much more than I deserve. All of my family has lifted me up (sometimes literally), and helped me in ways that humbled me for sure; but created a sense of gratitude in my heart that I really can’t explain.
My church family and friends have prayed for me, called me, visited me, and provided for me. To say that I’m blessed is an understatement.
But beyond these, I’ve had perfect strangers show me great kindness. Nurses and doctors that took the time to actually listen, see, and believe me. These people made an impression on me.
They showed leadership.
How? Through their kindness, they influenced me. They changed my thinking about compassion, and kindness towards others.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Influence in someone’s life is nothing to be scoffed at. ” quote=”Influence in someone’s life is nothing to be scoffed at. “]
Influence in someone’s life is nothing to be scoffed at. 
As a Christian (and pastor), I believe that God gives us influence in someone’s life to help them, better them, love them, or to show kindness and compassion to them.
People need kindness. People want kindness. It’s just that simple.
Everyday you are bombarded with negativity from nearly every possible angle. It seems there is always a negative voice telling you why you “can’t”. Rarely do we experience actual, undeserved kindness; but when we do, we naturally gravitate towards those who show it.
When you sense genuine kindness being shown to you, you trust the one who shows it.
People who are kind to us in our pain have an instant ability to speak into our life. They’ve cared for us, so we in return listen to them. They have influence in our life. They have leadership.
People Need Kindness
Here’s the deal…
Everyone is experiencing pain.
Sure, for some it is the physical pain associated with something that happened to them; but for others, it’s relational pain, emotional hurt, rejection, or just the need for something to fill a void that has become apparent in their life.
If you want to lead people, you need a place of influence in their life. Kindness opens the door to influence.
Let me clearly state as well, that real leadership isn’t about the leader gaining something from those they lead. Real servant leadership is about serving. It is getting into people’s heart and life with the intent of loving them and serving them.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Leaders aren’t self-serving. ” quote=”Leaders aren’t self-serving. “]
Leaders aren’t self-serving.
Dictators are those who use people.
But true leadership always desires influence for the purpose of healing hurts, helping out, and holding up those who need a hand.
If only leaders would be truly kind to people, I believe they would see their leadership blossom.
If you would have asked me a few weeks ago about my leadership, it would have been mostly about the “mission” that I’m on. I needed to lead people to action.
While this is still true, I’ve learned that there is another degree of leadership. It’s kindness.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Kindness opens the door to influence. ” quote=”Kindness opens the door to influence. “]
Kindness is about people. Leadership is about people. If you aren’t kind to those you lead, you won’t have the opportunity to lead them for long. As much as I want to believe I was kind before my incident, I’m sure I wasn’t as kind as I should be.
So…I’m changing.
With every word, my new struggle is to be kind. It is to show the same kindness and compassion to others that was shown to me. The reason is simple: I want to influence their life for the better. I want to be a leader to others that points the way towards healing, purpose, calling, and the love of God.
In any new experience, there is a learning curve. I’ve found a few things I needed to learn if I’m to succeed at leading others through kindness.
 
These are actions that will benefit you too, if your aim is to be a leader worth following:

Be humble.  Not false humility either; but a realization that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Be willing to get down where people are. In their hurt. Empathize with their pain. See through their eyes.  

Break down your personal walls.  Sadly, through many rough experiences in my life, I’ve built a lot of personal walls for myself. These have been a source of protection for me through difficult times, when my source of protection should have been my faith in God.   Breaking down your walls is NOT easy. But to lead others, especially with kindness, there cannot be a wall between you and those you desire to lead. It’s just that simple. A leader with walls is a leader who cannot touch or be touched. As far as I can see, Jesus, the One I consider to be the greatest leader of all time, was both touched with the feelings of others; and reached out to touch the hurts of people. I want to be like Jesus.  

Become kind in your communication with others. Use words that uplift. There is always the choice to tear down, put down, degrade, and devalue those around us. Truly, we can nitpick every action, choice, and belief that other people have; but if you’re going to be a leader worth following…DON’T DO IT.   Let kind words flow through your broken down walls. It won’t be easy at first. You’ll feel vulnerable, even weak. But as many have experienced, strength is often found when we expose our weakness. Tell others what they mean to you; and really mean it.

There are many, many other steps, or actions involved in leading with kindness; but these are a good place to start.
Lead with kindness and you’ll find your influence growing greater than you ever imagined; plus the ability to help people through your leadership.

 

Other relevant, inspiring, and interesting reading…

The Dilemma Of The Servant Leader – by Lolly Daskal

10 Ways To Show Kindness To Others – by Laura Beth Cowan

The book, “Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles For Effective Leaders” – by Joel Manby

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