According to Boris Groysberg and Susan Seligson, the manager’s toolkit needs to expand in ways not seen before.  The most effective strategy for leaders might also be the most innately human: be kind.

‘Kindness is an investment that never fails’.

They identify 7 ways to be kind:

  • Really listen, be present and don’t judge
  • Ask ‘are you OK?’ Be prepared to provide comfort and monitor distress
  • Ask ‘what can I do to help?’ Validate the challenges that people experience and reduce them
  • Help people manage a new rhythm, be flexible
  • Say ‘I’m here for you’, and then be there
  • Moderate work expectations to be realistic given the pressures: ‘I know you’re doing the best you can’
  • Say ‘thank you’ with sincerity, and often

Before Covid-19 leaders were already under great pressure to produce results at a faster pace, using fewer resources with many more options to choose from.

I’ve been advocating that coaching is the smart way to deal with these pressures.

Coaching is a way to give life to kindness in any context, be it remote or in person.

Take the time to coach to show you care, give support and encouragement, listen, cede the agenda to the person you are coaching, be sincere and compassionate.

This will bring trust, wellbeing, vitality and a sense of accomplishment.

Book a call with me today to find out more about how executive coaching can help you support and encourage your team and expand your own leadership influence.


To be inclusive we need to call it in, not call it out.

Surprisingly enough, this is an area that is just crying out for greater kindness – inclusion. Inclusion isn’t a prescription, there isn’t one way to be inclusive, and we need to recognise that we’re on a learning journey to understand just how to be more inclusive.

We’ve seen an increase in ‘cancel culture’ and people being burned for expressing their views. We need to be thoughtful and considerate yes, but we also need to be able to experiment and sometimes get it wrong, without being punished for it.

Calling out assumes the worst. Calling in involves conversation, compassion and context.

It doesn’t mean a person should ignore harm, slight or damage, but nor should she, he or they exaggerate it.

Every time somebody disagrees with me it’s not ‘verbal violence.” Professor Ross said.

“Overstatement of harm is not helpful when you’re trying to create a culture of compassion.”

Professor Ross says: “Some people you can work with and some people you can work around.

But the thing that I want to emphasize is that the calling-in practice means you always keep a seat at the table for them if they come back.”

Read more in the article here.

There are many actions that leaders can take to increase compassion and inclusion.

A recent Harvard Business Review article by Noah Zandan and Lisa M. Shalett  analysed the differences between leaders who espoused inclusion, and those who actually were inclusive.

Inclusive leaders:

  • personalise to their audience, by first understanding them
  • use inclusive language such as you/together/we vs I/me
  • demonstrate their ability to hold multiple perspectives, validating BOTH their own and others’ views
  • listen and accept feedback
  • show up authentically, as themselves, engage and connect
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