Compassion As A Business Objective: Why It Matters And How To Cultivate It
Is being a compassionate leader good for business? Think about your career. Think about the best manager or leader you ever had. What traits come to mind when considering what made these leaders exceptional? Did you describe these leaders as disciplinarians? How about fiercely competitive? Were they unpredictable, too? Chances are you weren’t thinking about any of those traits. It’s more likely you thought of descriptors such as passionate, trustworthy, calm in the face of adversity, present, connected, sensitive, service-oriented, empathetic and encouraging. Any of these could be used to describe a compassionate leader.
So why are compassionate leaders so important? When employees feel a lack of a commitment to compassionate leadership and intense pressure from leadership to perform above and beyond their capabilities, these feelings open the door to widespread disengagement. Leaders who lack compassion often falsely believe that the more pressure they place on their employees, the more productive they will become.
Perhaps you don’t see yourself as a compassionate leader, or maybe you don’t know what that looks like in the workplace. The good news is, just like any action that doesn’t feel inherently comfortable to an individual, compassion can be improved upon with practice. A study published in Psychological Science showed that adults could learn compassion. We, as humans, can train ourselves to understand and actively empathize with others around us. Here are a few tips for doing just that:
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