Kindness People: Maëlle Gavet

I first heard about Maelle a business woman in an Inc article. Maelle said “Anyone who sees kindness as a weakness is dead wrong–and has a few suggestions for companies to improve” I was positively impacted to read about her views on empathy – connected to kindness – especially relating to the tech industry and business in general. Even more positively impacted when she said yes to interview for the Human Kind series.

Here is what Maelle had to say about kindness, leadership and wellbeing.

Describe yourself in a few lines. 

I’m a tech entrepreneur, executive, investor and now writer of a WSJ bestseller book, Trampled by Unicorns, Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It, a book about how to build a tech world with more empathy

How is kindness linked to leadership overall in your view?

Kindness for me is about concern and consideration for others. To be a good leader you have to be able to understand how your decisions impact people and how you can minimize any negative effects your actions have on others. This helps create a more positive culture and higher engagement among employees. It also helps you “see around the corner” allowing you to be able to predict people’s reactions and how to best manage them

What is the view on kindness from the French perspective and what is your view on kindness?

“I’m not sure that there is a “French perspective” to kindness as such, but our national motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is a daily reminder that we should care about other people and ensure that they are free to express their opinions and live their lives without fear and that they are treated in equal ways”

Kindness for me is an undervalued, yet critical, human quality in the business world; an antidote to many problems from greed and hostile environments to silo-mentality and lack of empathy. The world would be a significantly better place if we treated each other with kindness

What has been one of your most memorable kindness moments in your tech career ?  

Luckily I’ve seen many acts of kindness throughout my professional life, big and small – team organizing to help a recently widowed employee, women reaching out to other women after they gave birth to help them figure out how to balance their new personal and professional life, employees mentoring other employees on their free time, etc… 

Lastly, Kindness is very linked to healthy living – when it comes to eating – what is your favorite simple dish to enjoy during a busy week?

During the winter my comfort food it pasta Bolognese and chocolate cake (my grandmother’s recipe)

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