Welcome to The Kind Leader Newsletter #6
Tip #6: Apologize!
A number of years ago I was one of the of the co-leads for an important inter-departmental project. The sponsor, a Vice President, explained the importance of the project and we got to work. Unfortunately, work didn’t go smoothly and there was a lot of arguing among the team-members. The sponsor called us into his office. We all expected to get in trouble. However, instead of blaming the team for the difficulties, the sponsor apologized, saying “I wasn’t clear enough in the directions I gave you. I see that lack of clarity has caused a lot of friction for the team. I’m sorry.” It was one of the most impactful experiences I ever had as a team member.
As a leader, apologizing shows others that it is alright to make mistakes. And to apologize too! No one is perfect. And no one needs to be. Everyone — including leaders — make mistakes. And the best, and kindest, thing a leader can do when they make a mistake is model the behavior of apologizing. That’s the best way for others to learn how to apologize for their mistakes as well!
What do you think?
How often do you apologize?
How do you help your team members feel safe apologizing?
Please share your ideas in the comments!
This week’s Kind Leader tip was inspired by Matthew Grant
The other day I was talking to my friend Matthew Grant. Matthew is a very reflective person, and a kind leader. As soon as we got on the phone, Matthew asked, “Guess what I did today? I apologized to one of my employees. I realized that they couldn’t complete their work because I wasn’t clear about what I expected them to do. So, I apologized…and then made sure they were clear about what needed to be done!” As Matthew and I talked more about the importance of leaders apologizing when they make mistakes, Matthew said, “The best thing about apologizing is that it clears the air, and then you can simply start again.”
I agree! And, as well, it models kind behavior for team members too!
Thanks for inspiring this week’s Kind Leader Tip, Matthew! (You’ll learn more about Matthew and his quest to practice kind leadership throughout The Kind Leader book!)
Thank you all for reading the Kind Leader Newsletter! Please send me your thoughts and experiences practicing kind leadership so I can use them in The Kind Leader book and pass them on to others in the Newsletter!