Leading with care

What is it?

Having the essential personal qualities for leaders in health and social care; understanding the unique qualities and needs of a team; providing a caring, safe environment to enable everyone to do their jobs effectively.

Why is it important?

Leaders understand the underlying emotions that affect their team, and care for team members as individuals, helping them to manage unsettling feelings so they can focus their energy on delivering a great service that results in care for patients and other service users.

What it is not:

  • Making excuses for poor performance
  • Avoiding responsibility for the wellbeing of colleagues in your team
  • Failing to understand the impact of your own emotions or behaviour on colleagues
  • Taking responsibility away from others


Caring for the team:

  • Do I notice negative or unsettling emotions in the team and act to put the situation right?
  • Do my actions demonstrate that the health and wellbeing of my team are important to me?
  • Do I carry out genuine acts of kindness for my team?


Recognising underlying reasons for behaviour:

  • Do I understand the underlying reasons for my behaviour and recognise how it affects my team?
  • Can I ‘read’ others, and act with appropriate empathy, especially when they are different from me?
  • Do I help my colleagues to make the connection between the way they feel and the quality of the service they provide?


Providing opportunities for mutual support:

  • Do I care for my own physical and mental wellbeing so that I create a positive atmosphere for the team and service users?
  • Do I help create the conditions that help my team provide mutual care and support?
  • Do I pay close attention to what motivates individuals in my team so that I can channel their energy so they deliver for service users?


Spreading a caring environment beyond my own area:

  • Do I take positive action to make sure other leaders are taking responsibility for the emotional wellbeing of their teams?
  • Do I share responsibility for colleagues’ emotional wellbeing even when I may be junior to them?
Click to view the nine dimensions