Although the “continuous improvement” pillar of lean is well-defined and has a host of tools, practices and principles that are commonly taught (5S, PDCA, poka-yoke, leveling, standard work, Go-See, etc.), the “respect for people” pillar is less well-defined.
There are countless classes and workshops offered in-person and online teaching people how to do continuous improvement. However, few exist to specifically help continuous improvement practitioners learn and practice how to show respect for people.
In lean, although we often say, “focus on the process, not on the people,” treating people with kindness and respect is the key to ensuring the best possible processes and continuous improvement.
- Provide participants with a clear definition of what respect for people really means (helping people do more than they ever thought they could and be more than they ever thought they could).
- Introduce people to the basics of kind leadership and why kind leadership is necessary for respect for people.
- Give people practical exercises and activities to use to lead with kindness so that they can begin showing respect for people immediately.
The Love and Kindness Project Foundation is a grassroots movement spreading Kindness from person to person around the world and encourage people to think, speak and act more kindly by:
- Giving out free love and kindness buttons for people to use to recognize kindness
- Creating and providing lots of free kindness activities for people to download
- Having monthly kindness challenges on social media
- Hosting, and supporting others in hosting, in-person and virtual kindness events
- Fostering and funding creative projects that spread kindness in the world
- Providing free coaching and micro-grants to people to create their own kindness project
At the Love and Kindness Project Foundation, we believe that no project that creates more love and kindness in the world is too small! Every act of love and kindness counts! Kindness is free. Everyone, everywhere can become kinder. Practicing kindness every day makes us kinder and creates a better world for all. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, makes a huge difference!
Karyn Ross is on a mission to help people create a better, kinder world. An artist, internationally acclaimed speaker, award-winning author, consultant, coach and practitioner, Ross travels the globe teaching people her unique system of combining creativity, continuous improvement and kindness to make a better world.
As well as being the owner of KRC (Karyn Ross Consulting), she is one of the founding mothers of Women in Lean — Our Table, a global group of more than seven hundred and fifty women lean practitioners. She is also founder and resident of the Love and Kindness Project Foundation, a registered public charity and The New School for Kind Leaders. Ross has created both of these initiatives to help people around the world think, speak, act and lead more kindly.
Ross's sixth book, The Kind Leader: A Practical Guide to Eliminating Fear, Creating Trust and Leading with Kindness is available for preorder. Her five other books are:
- How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence: A Lean Coaching Workbook
- the Shingo-award winning The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations
- I’ll Keep You Posted: 102 of My Reflections to Help You Start — and Deepen — Your Own Active Reflection Process
- Think Kindly — Speak Kindly — Act Kindly: 366 Easy and Free Ideas You Can Use to Create a Kinder World…Starting Today
- Big Karma and Little Kosmo Help Each Other
Proceeds from her books fund The Love and Kindness Project Foundation. When not traveling, Ross spends time designing and sewing her own clothes! Follow her on LinkedIn for a daily inspirational post about creativity, kindness and/or continuous improvement.
- Introductions and expectations
- Theory: The connection between respect for people, kindness and leadership
Respect for people, kindness, leadership
Vicious cycle of fear, virtuous circle of trust
Self-assessment of personal and organizational current state
- Practicing three of the key kind leader behaviors
o Think kindly: always assume positive intent and that people are doing their best
Practice activity: making your assumptions visible — and then changing them!
o Speak kindly: choosing and using kind words encourages people to learn and grow
Practice activity: eliminating unkind words and replacing them with kind ones!
o Act kindly: checking in with people creates trust…checking on people creates fear
Practice activity:creating questions to check in with people
By the end of the workshop, participants will have practiced one each of the three key kind leader behaviors:
- Think kindly: assume positive intent
- Speak kindly: choose and use your words kindly
- Act kindly: check in with people, not on them
All lean practitioners and establisher or emerging leaders who want to lead their teams with kindness.
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