The popular notion about being a leader is that of being tough and firm. Being strict with a number of rules and policies is often prioritized, and the need to be consistent with displaying authority is thought to be uncompromised. Despite the need to be tough, good leaders are also known to be gentle and forgiving.
No one said it was easy to become a leader, and being both tough and gentle can actually be a challenge especially since it can be quite a confusing and ironic task. There are ways to do both however, and it is said to be all about balance.
A balancing act
Perhaps the best way to learn how to be a gentle leader is to know exactly what being gentle means and how it is important in leadership. Being gentle means that you are able to assert yourself and the things you want to enforce on your people in a manner that isn’t harsh or threatening. You don’t go around screaming like a banshee as you give our orders and you certainly don’t try to frighten your people.
After all, how can you expect your people to function well if they are actually shaking from fear of you? Then again, fear of the boss or the leader isn’t a bad thing but there is a certain level of fear that is considered good and any excess may be considered bad and ineffective in people management.
To know the difference between the two, you must be able to develop a personal relationship with your people but at the same time maintain a distance where it is clear to your people that you mean business and you won’t tolerate any disrespect or mediocrity at work.
Kindness in being gentle
Often, being gentle is displayed with a certain humane quality known as kindness. You are gentle when you are kind and just. You don’t enforce any rule or law that may offend any of your people nor do you go out of your way to make their lives miserable. Be sure that you know where to draw the line of being firm and strict, and that it is merely on a professional level.
It is all about instilling discipline in your people and you must be able to do this without resorting to drastic measures. Remember, you are an effective leader if your people continue to do as they are told despite your absence.