In a corporate setting, kindness can be perceived as a feminine trait. Male employees may have more social permission to be swift and direct, while women who approach a situation with a softer style are dismissively equated with being less effective, or even worse, weak.
I've seen kindness exhibited beautifully by people of any gender. After this bruising election season, bluntness and sometimes bullying behavior have become mainstream and replaced the courtesies and genteelness of generations past.
But as an entrepreneur and a CEO who has lived by the philosophy "always lead with kindness," I'm here to tell you that you'll never regret a day of being considerate and (gasp!) nice in the workplace.
Here's what I've learned over a 25-year career: If you lead with a kind word or a thoughtful gesture, you are squarely better off than if you bark a command or send a terse email. Not only will kindness make your business associates feel a sense of trust and comfort, it will actually benefit the bottom line.