Humanising leadership – why curiosity, kindness and connection are key
The machiavellian leader has had his (and her) day: mounting research is pointing to the conclusion that the best leaders are kind, as well as competent.
Accepted leadership styles often go unquestioned, but in a world that’s becoming more awake to the unique nuances and power of human communication in the face of artificial intelligence and advancing technology, it makes sense to harness the power of our very unique human capacities.
Kylie Lewis, author, coach and founder of Of Kin – an organisation which connects and coaches socially conscious change makers and business leaders – specialises on the importance of humanising work, even hosting a podcast on the topic. Kylie believes in empowering business leaders to harness the power of courage, curiosity, connection and kindness.
We’ve put together a breakdown of just a couple of Kylie’s ideas on how leaders can succeed by humanising their approach to work.
Choose courage As explained on the Of Kin website, “choosing courage over comfort is the guiding principle for living meaningful days”. Acting with courage in business involves questioning conceived wisdom and using your human head and heart to determine how what you’re doing can change the world.
Chase beauty An affinity for beauty isn’t necessarily uniquely human – the value of beautiful design is apparent everywhere we look: from flowers to feathers. In business though, chasing beauty – striving for the best – means bringing more intention into the workplace and world. When we appreciate the potential for beauty in everything we do, we show up with care and passion, and it’s not just our work that benefits: beauty serves everyone who experiences it.
Build relationships Kylie built Of Kin upon her belief in the power of connection. Key to success as a leader is securing the trust of your team, and trust is built through connection. While building personal connections with others is important, so too is bringing together likeminds: connecting people who you know will benefit from connecting with one another.
Be vulnerable In a journal article exploring why soft skills are the hardest of all, Kylie explains that “having conversations, cultivating trust, risking vulnerability and building psychological safety” can be the most difficult yet most important elements of a job. Through her books, podcast and coaching, Kylie emphasizes the importance of embracing our humanity – “coupling fierce with personal humility” – and in doing so, becoming stronger, more inspiring leaders.
On March 27th, Kylie will be joining a line-up of other experts giving practical, informed advice on how we can reshape the way we work. Limited tickets for Conscious Work are still available. Book here.