In specialty chemicals, as in many industries, there is an important missing link in business leadership. There is much focus on vision, charisma, and confidence. Yet, one key that is often missing is kindness. When you lead with kindness you create a workplace community that fosters trust, positivity, and respect. The goal should be to make your employees feel like the company values them as humans, not just as employees. Here are some tips for leading with kindness.

Cultivate Relationships

The first step is to cultivate relationships with your team members. Be friendly whenever possible. When you see them, say hello to them and show interest in their work and life. It’s also important to give compliments when your team members do well and show them how much you appreciate their hard work. By fostering healthy relationships in the workplace, your team members will feel like they belong to a community, which, in turn, will improve your retention.

Demonstrate Positive Communication Techniques

Especially when you’re in a leadership position, it’s easy to fall into the trap of communicating in a way that is aggressive or harsh. It is more effective to communicate with empathy. As you hold conversations with your team members, be patient and understanding. Listen when they speak and make sure you don’t interrupt people when they’re talking. You want to be a safe person for your team members to approach with their questions and concerns. Everyone should feel like their voice has value.

Be Someone Who Empowers Others

Society teaches us to criticize people and judge them. While sometimes constructive feedback is necessary for improvement, focusing too much on negatives will undermine your team. Instead of always focusing on what employees are doing incorrectly, show them what they’re doing well and encourage them to keep growing. Your team members want to succeed, so if they are aware of their achievements, they will have more motivation to keep working hard and doing what they can to improve. When your team feels empowered, you will be surprised at what they can accomplish.

One of the main things missing in leadership styles nowadays is kindness. Some of the best leaders in the specialty chemicals industry embrace kindness as a leadership trait. They treat their employees as real people and not just worker bees. They value empathy, trust, and humaneness. The key is to cultivate meaningful relationships with your team members, communicate in a positive manner with them, and empower them to succeed.

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