WEBINAR: The Importance and Value of Kindness in Leading Courts

This webinar, originally presented on December 9, 2021, examines how kindness and leadership are directly linked. They are positive and fundamental in promoting successful working relationships, high-performing trial courts, and public trust and confidence in the judicial system. 

The need to lead with kindness in times of increased uncertainty and stress – the pandemic – is undeniable. Court leaders are expected to show a more empathetic style of leadership in such situations. Most do. But as COVID-19 and its many variants eventually evolve to become a flu-like menace, kindness as a leadership principle will remain. 

Why is kindness an important and necessary leadership quality? According to numerous surveys, Gallup being the longest and most prominent, almost half of all private and public employees (45 percent) feel strongly that their employer cares little about their well-being. This viewpoint has remained relatively constant over decades. Research, however, shows that practicing active, consistent kindness by leaders and leadership teams, decidedly creates more reassuring, compassionate, positive and productive work environments regardless of whether they are remote, hybrid or office workplaces. 

If such is the case, how do court leaders model, develop, and sustain a culture of kindness? After all, kindness as a leadership principle is less about the what and more about the how. And it’s mixed together as a key ingredient with many other leadership components like a robust stew. The character of the stew (leader) is certainly defined by all the ingredients (traits, competencies, skills) in combination but omit this very important one (kindness) and the flavor (quality) of the stew (leader) is greatly diminished. 

This 75-minute webinar promises to be an interesting, thoughtful discussion about how purposeful kindness can make you a better leader. Among some of the issues and questions explored will be… 

  • Are you being kind, or merely nice? There is a big difference. 
  • Is procedural fairness, as practiced by judges in the courtroom, a form of kindness? 
  • How do kindness and warmth accelerate happiness and trust? Why should it matter to leaders? 
  • As a court leader, how do I go about practicing purposeful kindness at work? 


  • Gordon Griller, Executive Director, NAPCO, Scottsdale, AZ


  • Hon. Kevin Burke (ret.), Former Chief Judge, Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota (Minneapolis) 
  • Hon. Paula Carey, Chief Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court (Boston) 
  • John Bello, Court Administrator, Massachusetts Trial Court (Boston)