“Care is the cure.”
I heard Tony Schwartz say that at a Conscious Capitalism event several years ago and it’s a phrase I continue to share because it hits right at the heart of how Barry-Wehmiller is trying to transform the brokenness of business.
Caring is a profound word. Our capacity for giving and receiving care is extraordinary, but we routinely shut it down or put limits on it. When we walk in the door of our workplace, we become conditioned to turn our caring instincts off. Why? Because we’re now at work. We’re in competition with the person next to us for a promotion so we can get paid more. We know that the “bosses” are only using us to make money, so why should we care about them?
In leadership, we’ve become conditioned to view people as functions and we try to get them to do what we want so we can be successful, not because we care about them. It’s every person for themselves. We’re conditioned to put on our emotional armor when we come to work. Caring is reserved for our family and friends outside the doors of the office.
But caring is what we need more of in the workplace. Everyone on the team needs to shed their emotional armor. It’s only then that we connect more deeply so that the 40 hours a week we spend away from home are not draining but fulfilling. As leaders, we should create work environments in which our team members feel safe, cared for and comfortable being their true, fully human selves.
Every day, we have the opportunity to show people that we care. We do so by giving people the chance to be who they were intended to be – allowing them to discover, develop, share and be appreciated for their gifts so that they go home knowing that who they are and what they do matter. In this way, our leadership actions daily affirm and demonstrate that everybody matters. When we show care, it becomes contagious.
I recently read an Inc. Magazine article on how kindness can make you a better leader. Kindness is integral in showing your people that you care. “The moment we forget that our first responsibility as a leader is to actually care about the success of others is the moment we fail,” it says. “Better leadership starts with simple kindness–in life and at work.”
I encourage you to read this article and make kindness and caring the focus of your leadership.