May 25, 2019
"VUCA meets Kindness"
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, (kindness), humility, gentleness and patience.”
Our world, our churches and our lives are in a huge transition! We are not just dealing with change. We are dealing with VUCA change. We are feeling vulnerable and uncertain, and dealing with complexity, and ambiguity. VUCA is a catchword for “It’s crazy out there!” These conditions are an invitation to reactive, angry volatility or to kindness, grace, understanding and empathy.
Recently, I read an article in Inc. entitled “Science Can Make You a Better Leader.” Todd Nordstrom, the writer, says the following:
Kindness may sound like a weakness in our survival-of-the-fittest world. Researchers have long studied the impact kindness can have on our own happiness – which seems like it would improve our ability to lead. Researchers at the University of Oxford recently analyzed hundreds of published papers that studied the relationship between kindness and happiness. They found 21 studies that explicitly prove that being kind to others makes us happier. And a study from the University of Warwick revealed that happy people at work are 12 percent more productive than unhappy people. These are great things to know. But can kindness at work also elevate your leadership?
1) Appreciation inspires greater results.
Leaders celebrate the success of others. Nordstrom says, “Global research reveals that when employees were asked what the one thing their boss or company could give them that would inspire them to strive for great results, recognition was, hands down, the number one answer. It was bigger than pay increases, promotions, training, and autonomy. Celebrating the achievements of others is being kind. It turns out, it also inspires great results.”
How are we expressing appreciation to our leaders and our church board and committee members?
2) Connection leads to better ideas.
The author continues, “It would make sense that kind people would have an easier time networking and making more sincere connections – because they care about the people they meet. But there’s more to it than that. Our research also found that 72 percent of award-winning projects involve people talking to, and asking questions of, people who may not be in their inner circle. They care to discover the opinions of people who many not know anything about their current project, and appreciate the opinions of people who may disagree with them or dislike their ideas. That’s kindness – gaining the perception of someone else, whether they agree with you or not.”
How are we listening to all the voices in our churches and communities?
3) Correction can improve relationships.
“As leaders, sometimes it’s our responsibility to let others know when they’re not meeting expectations. And corrective conversations are rarely considered to be acts of kindness. But leaders who express kindness, and a sincere desire to help an employee become their best, build stronger relationships with their people. In fact, a 10-year study by Harvard Business Review reveals that the number one thing holding back second-rate executives is their inability to create trusting relationships.”
How is our kindness boldly growing as transformational leaders?
Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”
Cultivating Transformational Leaders,