Robert K. Greenleaf (1970) described Healing as one of the ten characteristics of a Servant Leadership. He stated that healing is the ability to help make whole. We all possess this powerful characteristic and how we use it is completely our choice. Greenleaf described a servant leader as a leader who overcomes self-indulgence in order to deeply serve humanity rather than more classical leadership models that describe leaders as dominating or controlling. Greenleaf proposed that Servant Leadership is a way of life in which the focus is on the good of others. He went on to describe Servant Leadership as leadership that involves leaders as healers.
Healing involves learning how to help deal with difficult situations in terms of serving the common good. Servant Leaders must recognize that they have an opportunity to help make whole those people and organizations with whom they come in contact. Many times, we come in contact with people who are struggling with life issues both personal and/or professional. Whether we are aware of those issues or not, we could affect the person with what words we choose to share with him/her.
A Servant Leader genuinely cares about other people and their welfare. The characteristic of Healing is a powerful ethical force for transformation and integration and works toward helping people become better. Servant Leadership is a leadership style that enhances both the human and ethical factors in organizations. This type of leadership tends to focus on empowering others and contributing value to other people that allows their talents to grow.
Whether you want to be or not, you are a leader. There are people out there who are watching you and making decisions based on your actions. You have the responsibility to set a good example for others to follow and to work with other people to help develop them. In addition, keep the following points in mind as you work toward being a more servant leader.
- Choose your words wisely
- Say what you mean and mean what you say
- Be responsive to other people’s needs
- Seek feedback