Earlier this month, as part of our weekly Leadership Lens series, we asked "Can a boss be 'too nice'?"
The piece explored the notion that some managers may be so accommodating and hands-off that they slip into complacency, unwilling to "make waves" within the corporate structure. This becomes problematic when they don't take steps to vouch for their teams and eventually become "absentee leaders."
On the other end of the spectrum are businesses that implore their managers to become part of the trend toward "Conscious Capitalism"—a movement whose members include Google and Southwest Airlines. One aspect of Conscious Capitalism is compassionate managers who understand their employees on a deeper level than their day-to-day contributions to their team.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has publicly stated his belief that taking the time to understand employees will produce tangible benefits in the workplace.
"Such an investment is analogous to the work of a carpenter who carefully measures a piece of wood three times before cutting once: spending such 'compassion time' with an employee … pays off in that person's much greater efficiency, productivity and effectiveness," according to Harvard Business Review's summary of Weiner's views.
In an age when distrust for corporate institutions is pervasive, managers need to guarantee their employees are willing to put forth the effort needed to generate success.
Showing compassion is the first step.
The results of leadership assessments, made available through CCi Surveys International, will provide insights to leaders who may need to alter their behaviors toward their team members.
Managers will then be able to better balance "too nice" and "not nice enough."