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The difference between Nice and Kind Leadership

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

While the definitions may appear to be identical to some, there are important distinctions between being nice and being kind. According to research, kind leadership entails cultivating a culture of taking meaningful action to help others, recognizing a person's need regardless of tone, and allowing real success and failure. Niceness, on the other hand, is usually focused on pleasing others and remaining polite so as not to offend them.

In this situation, highlighting a struggling employee and informing them that they are not reaching the necessary standards may be perceived as unfriendly. It is, nice in the sense that it assists them in improving. This distinction clarifies how leading with kindness can encourage greater innovation and provide a a more effective and professional service to your client base.

In studies, workers were asked to identify the leadership style that may work best. Respondents ranked “leads with kindness” first among other leadership styles, including leading with authority, empathy, courageousness, and risk-taking.

Further, respondents who said their current company’s leadership style was one that “puts kindness before anything else” were most likely to agree that this leadership style has led to a more effective organisation. And when kindness is considered a core value of the organization, employees are 3.5 times more likely to share a sense of purpose between their job and the company’s larger goals.

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