Let’s end the paradox of kindness

by  MargaretS  |  Leadership Development

This month’s contribution to SmartBlog on Leadership is by Jane Perdue. In her post, Jane discusses the often perplexing paradox of kindness. “Employees complain in engagement surveys that their bosses don’t treat them with respect or as unique individuals. Yet on the flip side, research shows that bosses who treat people with kindness, respect and dignity are “seen as less powerful than other managers.”

What a dreadful paradox: We want to be treated with kindness yet don’t respect those who do so. What’s up with this?”

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What People Are Saying

Cass Cahill  |  22 Jun 2012  |  Reply


I completely agree with what you’re saying. It seems like one of those “have your cake and eat it too” moments. I personally don’t think there’s any reason why showing kindness would make you any less of a leader but I think the problem comes from when your boss is too friendly. Again nothing wrong with that in principle but there comes a time when you can’t be everyone’s friend and that’s where problems arise.


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