The Three Questions of Caring Leadership

By January 5, 2013All


“A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. “Denis Waitley 

To care for another person, in the most significant sense, is to affirm and recognize another person.  Caring comes from our deep longing to help another person grow and develop. Leo  Buscaglia, a relationship author said, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Caring can add value to just about every experience we share with other people. You can never go wrong with too much care. Did you ever hear anyone complain because someone cared too much? If we want to make a difference in people’s lives, we have to care. We have to care about their situations, we have to care about who they are and we have to care enough to make a positive impact in their life.

Caring Leaders can ask four questions to communicate care to anyone they interact with:

What can I do to help?

Offer your hand and your heart to another person today. It can be something very small but make sure it’s meaningful. By offering assistance to another person we communicate we care enough about their life. We think it’s important enough to listen and maybe find a way to place ourselves as a resource to improve their situation. 

Some people don’t express the need for help and hope something will change. As leaders, we have to be the light and have the courage to understand others by being there as a support. As a leader, if people don’t come to you for help, maybe that’s something you can work on to listen more, understand better and get better as a leader. 

Colin Powell said, “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

I want to understand better

When we have a two-way communication and trust, we can be vulnerable to growth. The growth of our leadership doesn’t stop with what we said. It begins with empathy and understanding the other person. Oprah Winfrey said, “Leadership is about empathy. It’s about having the ability to relate and to connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” 

As leaders, we can relate and connect better to others by clarifying their messages.  A simple comment such as “I want to understand better,” means you want to take the time to really listen and care. It communicates we are aligned with the situation the other person is having. We are taking the journey together to help each other.

What do you think about…

As leaders do we really care what others think? Are we busy in our own world in trying to accomplish our goals? By asking people to share their thoughts and opinions, we open our hearts and ears to another point of view. It’s what Stephen Covey articulated and taught as the Third Way. It’s not my way or your way but our way together. 

By asking people what they think, we allow synergy to flourish.  We bring another perspective to our leadership conversations because we all have a story to share, a meaning to create. The life of abundance is the life of sharing thoughts and ideas together. 

Trust is built by taking the time to deeply listen to one another and to get to know their thoughts and opinions. It’s a process that can help us embrace more of our human growth by learning how to brings different point of views in the process of cooperation to make us complete.  

It creates a culture of cooperation and partnership. When we see the thoughts of others we show respect and the ability to hear others. Stephen Covey in his last book taught, “Nothing is more crucial in the global culture of twenty-first century than to understand others rather than try to dominate them.”
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