Luke Burrows

The idea of NOT having kindness and overall being a decent human begins in the workplace but also across all walks of life is alien to me. Surely, treating employees as human beings and the profound impact they can have is only beneficial for the overall work environment. Yet I’ve worked in toxic workplace cultures where this wasn’t the case, and have family members who continue to put up with being treated as a cog in a wheel and not a human begin. And, let me tell you this isn’t good for anyone!

Even using the term employees sends shivers down my spine. I guess that’s another thing I need to work on 😂 and prefer to use team members. I find team members way more empowering and positive and feeds into the importance of building strong relationships with the people you’re at work with and creating a supportive and collaborative atmosphere where everyone feels valued and appreciated. At the end of the day, isn’t this what will lead to everyone doing their best work?

In my conversation with Jason Johnson on this topic, he draws a parallel between sports and business teams, and the need for teamwork and unity in achieving success. He shares his experience in running track during his school days, specifically focusing on the four-by-four relay race where each team member plays a crucial role in getting the baton across the finish line and, it’s exactly the same in the workplace. Every individual within a workplace/business team has a role to play in the success of the company. Jason goes on to add that one of the greatest things we can do within a team environment is to appreciate the contributions of each team member, regardless of their role.

Jason’s leadership approach is based on the principle of actively engaging with every team member and getting to know them personally. Jason believes that by taking the time to have conversations with team members, introducing themselves, and showing genuine interest in their well-being, leaders can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

I wholeheartedly agree with him because as I alluded to beforehand, human beings are human beings and are not cogs in a machine. Jason goes on to share that his team members were surprised and expressed gratitude for being acknowledged and treated as human beings. When you treat people in this way, with respect and empathy, it fosters a sense of trust and openness, allowing team members to feel comfortable, share their ideas and concerns, and show up as their best selves.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to connect with team members. As a leader, this is a challenge that you take on by being in a role of leadership. There can be cultural differences and individual reservations that may affect how people respond to you so it’s important to communicate effectively by explaining and clarifying intentions when engaging with team members and asking how can you help.

Understanding the concept of energy flow within the workplace is not something that many leaders let alone people understand but is important in building a workplace culture. Leaders have control over the energy they give out and the influence they have on their team. Leading with kindness, empathy, and a genuine desire to help can create a positive cycle of energy. When leaders invest their time and energy in their team members, providing support and guidance, team members in turn feel more motivated and energised, leading to increased productivity and overall satisfaction.

Both mindset and heart-set are important in leadership. Mindset is about how you view the world and your environment whereas heartset reminds you to connect with your core values and lead authentically. By aligning with your true self and embracing your values, you will lead with more heart, love, kindness, and empathy which in tune will foster throughout everything that you do and contribute to creating a positive work environment that is based on collaboration, growth, and overall well-being which leads people to do their best work.