Caring Leadership – Making Concessions

By Karin Sebelin

Updated Over a Week Ago

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It is all about concessions in caring leadership.

Concessions for our surroundings, about how we perceive other people, in our communication with others, and also in upcoming problems.

Our life and business success is determined by how effectively we care and how we learn to show our humanity towards others and concede to others their own humanity.

Concessions are the first step to a better understanding of other people.

Caring Leadership?

That sounds absurd – making concessions! Are we the Salvation Army? Are other people saints?

Certainly not.

Try to Understand

Concessions here have nothing to do with seeing others as perfect or without faults. Concessions towards other people mean seeing them in the best light and with the best premature praise.

Now You Will Say

Why do others need premature praise? Are they so needy and weak that they deserve this? Do they need an extra portion of consideration?

Certainly not.

Try to Understand

Concessions towards other people do not mean always being nice to everyone and forgetting our own attitude and importance. It does not mean making a good face steadily. A caring leader should never base everything on niceness. Being nice does not serve well when the going gets tough.

Leading with kindness is based upon caring for other people, showing empathy and compassion, and having positive thoughts for others. Leading with kindness means using words that can uplift and encourage other people.

Listening with empathy and compassion and trying to understand the other person’s point of view.

Leadership that is humane demonstrates that we as leaders appreciate other people as human beings with their own opinions, emotions, and experiences. And that they are not free of faults or being misunderstood.

Humanity in leadership means seeing the humanity in others – recognizing others as human beings.

“Any leader who doesn’t support the heart of evolving humanity is not a leader worthy of being followed.” – Vanna Bonta

Concessions are the First Step to Empathy

When we recognize the humanity in other people, we realize that people may have flaws and may act inappropriately.

Through our concession of their imperfection, we show appreciation and respect for others; we show that we understand them and value them – we empathize with them. Concessions are the first step to showing empathy.

Humanity Concedes that our World is Imperfect

When we recognize others as human beings who are not perfect, we admit that we ourselves are not perfect and that our world is never perfect.

This imperfection gives us the possibility to learn, improve our leadership skills, and change ourselves every day.

Imperfection is always a chance for us. It is a chance to grow in ourselves and to reach our maximum potential. Life is a steady process of ‘evolvement’ – the involvement of our personality that we bring to blossom.

Life is a journey to detect the own ‘ME’. Helping to clarify why we are born and what is our purpose in life gives our life the needed sense to enjoy all the pleasures that life offers us.

Life is a challenge to show more of ourselves, to develop ourselves further, and to realize what could be possible.

When we learn to understand this imperfection of our world, we will develop the needed respect for mankind and for evolution. We will learn to appreciate the progress of mankind and learn to appreciate our technology.

Kant’s Formula of Humanity

Respect for mankind was a great topic for the German philosopher Immanuel Kant.

He believed that human beings have a special dignity because of their rational structures. And this fact about humanity is what makes humans superior to mere animals.

Kant gave an alternative formulation of the Categorical Imperative, known now as the Formula of Humanity:

“Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.”

When we see difficulties in our relationships with other people, we should always concede to people the possibility to change their own behavior, their own thinking, and their own presentation. As we also should have the possibility to change something in our lives.

Be a Mensch

Guy Kawasaki dealt with the topic of “menschdom” in his book “Enchantment.”

Mensch means to be honest, fair, kind, and transparent. Guy says we should focus on goodwill to achieve menschdom. He concedes that people are generally good until proven bad. He adds that good people can do bad things only for reasons of circumstances, but that does not make them bad people.

Guy Kawasaki advises us to be mensch if we want people to remember us as a person who helped others and made the world a better place.

If we, as human beings, never make concessions to others and to their humanity, our world would be self-centered and narrow-minded. Concessions enable us to establish better relationships with others and to see our world in a more positive light.

Concessions are the Way to Success

Concede that our people are not perfect.
Concede that our world is not perfect.
Learn to show empathy.
Be human.

What Do You Think Of Caring Leadership?

If you have ideas about caring leadership that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Karin Sebelin
Karin Sebelin
Karin is a mentor for leadership development, communications consultant, journalist and editor. Her focus is on human values, ethics and emotional intelligence and she teaches supportive networking and social behavior.
  • Jane Ndukwe Gee-Akwada says:

    What a wonderful piece of writing! I agree with you. “Our care for others is the measure of our greatness.” A leader with a “human face,” that is, a leader with conscience and ethics, would always have the loyalty of his or her followers. The job gets done faster in a happier and supportive environment…people bring out their best when they are valued. Kindness is reciprocal. I want to believe that leadership, in today’s world, has shifted from a dictatorial style to a more ‘value-based’ style where people are being encouraged to tap into their ‘creative reservoir,’ which is embedded in originality. Originality, comes with knowing who you are and consequently, knowing your purpose. Therefore, a leader who encourages originality will build a successful and vibrant workforce and consequently, leave a legacy.

  • Soren Sjogren says:

    Trying to bring out the best in others also brings out the best in one self.

    I agree on “concessions are the first step for a better understanding for other people.”

    I guess the next step is to speak less and listen more. Asking questions is my method of trying to understand others.

  • joe valenti says:

    great article!! downloaded Enchantment

  • Great article, it echos many of my beliefs and values.

  • Alberto De Feo says:

    Very good article! I recommend the book “Leading with Soul” by Lee Bolman and Terry Deal

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