Welcome to The Kind Leader Newsletter #4!

Tip #4: Let others go first. 

As a team member, have you ever been excited to go to your one-on-one meeting with your manager, only to find that fifty-five out of the sixty minutes are taken up by them telling you all about their work instead of listening to you? Even when the stated purpose of the meeting is to hear how you are doing and what YOU want to talk about? As a team member, you probably felt disappointed and that you weren’t treated kindly. Plus, your questions and concerns may not have been addressed.

Those in leadership roles often develop the habit of speaking first. However, letting others speak first gives leaders both the opportunity to hear what people have to say, and also to make them feel cared for and important.

As a leader, letting others go first also applies to situations where people are entering and exiting the room, getting seated and lining up for meals. Although people may defer to your title and usher you to the front of the line, letting others go first role shows the respect that you have for your team members.

Letting others go first doesn’t diminish your leadership, it models caring, respect and kindness.

What do you think?

How often do you let others speak first?

What other situations could you let others go first in?

Please share your ideas in the comments!


This week’s Kind Leader Tip was inspired by IT Leader Craig Delmage.

Here are some other suggestions from Craig for kind ways to meet with team members:

When I have my regular one on one meetings with my team members, I always let them go first – discuss anything that is on their mind or that they want to discuss with me. It can be business or personal. By letting them go first, it sends a signal that what they have to say is important to me. I may prompt them with some initial open-ended questions such as “How are things going for you?” or “How is your new baby?” or “Are you managing work/life balance ok?”

At the end of their items I will check in with them with questions such as “Have I made any decisions lately that you have disagreed with?” to make sure that we are in synch.

If there is time left in our meeting, then I may bring up any items that I wish to cover. Overall, I find that this approach works very well, and I have become closer to my team members – both on a work and personal front – as a result.


Thanks, Craig, for sending your Kind Leader tip!

And thank you all for reading the Kind Leader Newsletter! Please send me your thoughts and experiences practicing kind leadership so I can use them in The Kind Leader book and pass them on to others in the Newsletter!