‘Soft Touch’ Leadership

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It is my observation that some leaders deal, with those whom they’ve been entrusted to lead, with what I would call ‘rough hands’.

Now I am first to agree that leadership is a tough gig at times, but a great leader will use ‘soft hands’, even in the midst of a change or a forced transition period. We as leaders at times need to make the hard call, but in the midst of the ‘hard’ therein lies the need for the ‘soft touch’ of compassion.

For there is a right way to handle people and there is a wrong way. The right way will allow for smooth movement, and provide encouraging, clear and compassionate direction, along with positive support.

I remember reading about the Marriott Hotel chain and of when they went through a particularly tough economic time whereby they were forced to lay off workers. Their first course of action was to set in motion an entire strategy where they actually assisted those whom they had to let go to get other jobs with other companies.

And the latest example of ‘soft touch’ leadership is appearing to be demonstrated by what is happening with four hundred workers at Virgin Airlines right now – where it has been reported that they are considering a whole range of creative options to help not only the airline move forward, but to help their workers to do the same through this time of economic downturn.

Softly, softly as they go I say – the ‘best touch’ of leadership.

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