Charan Sarai - Practice Manager Adviser

Does your leadership style utilise this key management skill?

Charan Sarai, Training Delivery Manager for Thornfields, is back to discuss the importance of kindness in both our personal and professional lives. Caring is an essential element of general practice, and something that each of us values.

I strongly believe in the benefits of kindness as a motivator. Primary care managers who demonstrate kindness in their leadership style are sharing something that is truly effective and demonstrable on a day-to-day basis.

Kindness is the act or the state of being kind, being marked by good and charitable behaviour, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others - it is known as a virtue. It’s something completely positive that I’m sure we all aspire to!

Kindness is not a weakness

Some leaders have a belief system (that invisible force behind their behaviour) which is based on being positive and encouraging. They truly believe kindness is a key element of that approach. We all know that motivated team members lead to a first-class working culture.

The hard-working staff in general practice who speak to Thornfields trainers inform us that they want their managers to be available, honest and make the time to help them succeed and learn. They emphasise that it’s not just what is said, but how it’s said that often leads to challenges.

The key to moving kindness into mainstream leadership is that it’s owned by the leader. What we say and do must be genuine, we must work with integrity and we must understand that kindness is not a weakness.

Inspiring your team

Let me ask you a question - how do you help others gain confidence, inspire your team, and transform negative attitudes into a positive approach?

We as leaders must understand that it’s our responsibility to give constructive feedback. This in itself contributes to acts of kindness. The responsibility clearly rests both with the member of staff and the leader/ manager. Use the CPT model to give that all important feedback.

  1. Care about doing it, and do it with Care,
  2. Do it in Person
  3. Do it in a Timely way.

I love this quote by Robert Ingersoll, “We rise by lifting others.”

How true this is. It’s so important that leaders reach out to their teams when things are positive and good things are happening, not just when things go wrong. From personal experience I have found you gain better results when leading with a little kindness.

Would you say it all sounds a little countercultural, especially living in a world that sometimes seems to be all about self? It certainly takes effort; it means refocusing on what’s important collectively and not just for us as individuals. The fact is, being revolutionary works for some leaders and doesn’t for others.

Please don’t equate kindness for weakness; it’s truly a great strength. This quote from Bob Kerrey illustrates this point perfectly:


“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly,
and most underrated agent of human change.”


If you are interested in developing your practice leadership skills, take a look at award-winning primary care training providers
Thornfields’ ILM 3 and ILM5 courses. Look out for part two of our guide to the benefits of kindness, coming soon!


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