Lead With Kindness: You’ll Get Better Results

What happens when we put kindness at the center of our leadership? There's plenty of hard evidence that kind leaders get better results. Emma Seppala, Ph.D, a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, details several studies in Being a Kind Boss Pays Off: A kind leader may actually be good for "followers" hearts. In fact, a study out of the Karolinska Institute conducted on over 3,000 employees found that a leader’s qualities were associated with incidence of heart disease in their employees. Employees feel greater trust with someone who is kind. Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and her research partners have also shown that leaders who project warmth—even before establishing their competence—are more effective than those who lead with their toughness and skill. Why? One reason is trust. Employees are inspired by kindness. Jonathan Haidt at New York University Stern School of Business shows in his research that when leaders are self-sacrificing, their employees experience being moved and inspired. As a consequence, the employees feel more loyal and … [Read more...]

5 Gentle Happiness Reminders

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, theorizes that 40% of happiness is really up to us – 60% is determined by genetics and our environment. So what do we do with our 40%? How do we live in state of more purposeful happiness? Here are five gentle reminders, happiness tips drawn from research and life... Get your Zzzzzs Earlier this week on a work call, I heard my colleague’s 3-year old daughter saying, “Don’t be talking on the phone, Mommy, you need to be coloring.” Funnily, within a couple of minutes I could no longer hear her fevered “let’s color” pleas. She’d fallen asleep. Her Mom explained that typically, her daughter gets pretty loud and wound-up just before crashing. I had to admit—so do I! The director of sleep medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Dr. Raymonde Jean, says that a good night's sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. That’s not just true for 3-year olds, it is definitely true for me too. Let’s allow ourselves more pillow time so that in our waking hours, the choice is be happy is an easy one. Use your gifts … [Read more...]

Tolerance Reflections: Five Signs of Strength

Last fall when I interviewed women across the nation, they surprised me. I presupposed that when asked what one thing they would change immediately in the U.S., ending poverty or war would be the most prevalent answer. Instead, women in thirty-five states and the District of Columbia together said:  increase tolerance. Tolerance is defined as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own.” Women urged, can’t we just talk? Why all this vitriol and divisiveness? What happened to sitting around the local diner and having rousing debates about issues, remaining friends at the end of the night? According to these wise women, one driver behind this crippling national intolerance is the array of informational or ‘news’ sources. With so many choices today, have we fallen into a rut that fuels intolerance? What happens when we get our information by listening, watching or reading only certain sources? Tolerance Challenge The 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance (aka the ‘New’ News Challenge) launched. I vowed to access a ‘new’ news source every week, grounding the challenge upon Aristotle’s teaching:  “It is the mark of an educated mind to be … [Read more...]

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