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Kind leadership's a lot like gardening


With world kindness day coming up on 13th November, it’s a good time to reflect on the benefits of kindness and what kind leadership looks like.


Leading with kindness garners so many positive benefits for us as leaders; it could be said that it’s the most selfish leadership approach around (it’s certainly the most rewarding).

When we lead aligned to our values, we get to enjoy the benefits of there being nothing to ‘hide under the rug’; we enjoy the psychological freedom of trusting our instincts and believing in the good intent of each of our team members.

In a ‘clear is kind’ world, kind leadership improves our mental wellbeing as leaders because we know we act to serve each team member individually and the team as a whole. By investing the time in leading with kindness we ultimately reduce our own workload by increasing the capability and capacity of our team. We enjoy the benefits of a team of individuals who are clear on our expectations, trusted, engaged and connected to each other, working as a unit, holding each other accountable and supporting each other to deliver agreed outcomes.


Kind leadership fosters a great environment to work in, and one where people stay!

Team members enjoy a sense of belonging, they’re connected to each other as much as to their leader, they’re clear on the common goal(s) and also on what the expected standards of behaviour and performance are. They observe fair practice and team members being accountable to eachother and to the team’s output. Kind leaders set individuals up for success, leveraging each person’s strengths and helping team members to tap into these in collaboration, to deliver each part of the whole goal.

Brilliant jerks don’t thrive under kind leadership; instead, team members are rewarded for sharing knowledge and learning from eachother.

A kind leader is the team’s ultimate cheerleader – they notice individual and collective efforts and recognise these in ways that instill trust, build confidence and foster ongoing learning.


Leading with kindness is doing the work, every day – it’s a commitment at the front end for huge rewards at the tail end and, once in place, all it takes is regular observation, tweaking the little things and dedication to our teams overall good function.


Doesn’t that sound like gardening? Preparing the soil, planting then tending to the seeds, daily watering, regular weeding, pruning at times and getting to enjoy watching your garden grow on a daily basis. The ultimate reward of the daily investment is beautiful flowers, fruit and veggies – none of which we get if we don’t nurture and tend to our garden all year round.


If you’d like some support with your leadership practice or people processes which support high functioning teams, reach out for a chat about how Humanistic HR can help you.

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