The “Golden Rule” of Leadership
I remember back in pre-school I was taught the ‘Golden Rule’ that “we should treat others as we would like to be treated.” As a kid we could be harsh and mean to others without even thinking of the affects it could cause.
If I think you’re wrong or you’re doing something stupid, then I will not hesitate to tell you that what you’re doing is wrong or stupid. But I know that I need to do it with gentleness and respect because that’s how I want other people when they rebuke me or criticize me.. If I know for sure that this person truly know me, loves me, and only rebuke me out of love, then there is no problem for me to accept his/her critique and reflect upon it. But if I don’t even know this person and all in a sudden s/he starts criticizing me, I will probably just ignore him.. And based on this, I know that I need to treat other people the way I want to be treated… With gentleness and respect.
We do not always know the people that we lead especially in the business setting where people come and go from jobs all the time, which make it difficult to give feedback. As a follower we seek and deserve feedback, but as the leader we need to ask first, “Will the feedback help them grow?” and, “How can I present it to them in a gentle way?”
Many times I have run into leaders and managers who give feedback in order to lift themselves up and not the ones they lead. This is not a way I want to be treated, so why would I do the same to those that I lead? I hope for respect and gentleness from others, and the others around you probably seek the same.