Compassion in Leadership: A Path of Transformation

Styles of Leadership, Fears of Compassion, and Competing to Avoid Inferiority
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The practice of compassion is about going from self to others.

What Is Compassion In The Workplace?

The premise of the book is itself fascinating: Collins and his team tried to discover what makes companies go from good to great by sifting through a massive amount of data. The first and perhaps the most important finding in the book is the role of leadership.

It takes a very special type of leader to bring a company from goodness to greatness. These are leaders who, in addition to being highly capable, also possess a paradoxical mix of two important and seemingly conflicting qualities: great ambition and personal humility. These leaders are highly ambitious, but the focus of their ambition is not themselves; instead, they are ambitious for the greater good. Because their attention is focused on the greater good, they feel no need to inflate their own egos.

That makes them highly effective and inspiring. I do not pretend to know how to train Level 5 leaders either, but I am convinced that compassion plays an essential role. If you look at the two distinguishing qualities of Level 5 leaders ambition and personal humility in the context of the three components of compassion cognitive, affective, motivational , you may find that the cognitive and affective components of compassion understanding people and empathizing with them tone down the excessive self- obsession within us, and thereby create the conditions for humility.

I had a very assertive, performance-driven general manager who thought I was great for a while, but he told me we had a job to do. It had actually become sort of a crutch. He turned to a practice of developing a more clear-eyed, objective kind of awareness. The balance was solidified when he was given the three most challenging performers to work with.

There was a directness and a bare clarity to my leadership style that had to be brought to the table very quickly. Mindfulness helped me separate my action from the emotion that I was associating with it, to look at the emotion really objectively. I would feel compassion for people and my heart would open up. But I was also aware enough to lay out my expectations. When I saw them slipping into bad behaviours I was able to call them on it, but in such a way that they knew we were partners working together for their future. Compassion is a strength, not a weakness As important as a compassionate leadership technique is, it is easier said than done.

Western culture teaches us to view compassion as soft and, frankly, weak and passive. We think that somehow being compassionate makes us spineless wimps, allowing others to take advantage of us, and never taking a stand. But nothing could be further from the truth. Compassion actually enables tough conversations because it allows us to conduct them without anger — to hold people accountable with purity of intent. Compassion in action can actually look very direct and tough.

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But when we hold people accountable compassionately, we do so with a complete absence of anger, which enables greater wisdom. We are not blaming or shaming — we are doing what is best for the individual and the organisation with love and honesty. There is a yes in compassion, and there is also a no, said with the same courage of heart. No to abuse, no to violence, both personal and worldwide.

It is the powerful no of leaving a destructive family, the agonizing no of allowing an addict to experience the consequences of his acts.

Personal Responsibility, Compassion, Service to Others

Following this line of research, the Harvard Business Review assessed helping leaders identify their levels of compassion. The evaluation is self-scorable and gives an accurate judgment of whether or not we can call ourselves compassionate leaders. You can take the test here. A compassionate leader is interested not only in motivating his employees to gain profits for the company, but also helping them grow on a personal level. Such leaders have the far-sighted vision to hold genuine talents for long-term and think about the greater good of the organization. Time and again, studies have proved that compassionate leaders are preferred more among employees, more popular among clients, more comfortable to talk to, and more positive in giving honest feedback.

They are sure shot resources for guaranteeing the development and success of the organization. Researchers have argued that a genuinely compassionate leader should be empathetic and kind in all other walks of his life, including the professional sphere; only then can he maximize his skills as a successful leader.

The Compassion Workplace Model of Roffey Park stated that there are five aspects of compassionate leadership and management:. The compassionate leadership model emphasizes the here and now aspect of leadership. That compassionate leader should be mindful of the present situation, and the current requirements of the organizations is a vital requisite here Southgate, Jinpa said that to succeed as a compassionate leader, one must open your cognizance to understanding the problems and situations of your employees.

In the Name of the Father

A compassionate leader should have facts checked at all times, and be ready to connect and support the team to flourish. The cognitive pillar indicates clarity of thoughts, the absence of prejudices and thought blocks, and the openness to accept the viewpoints of others. The affective or the emotional pillar touches base with how the leader truly feels about people she works with. Compassionate leaders should have the power to identify the emotional distress of their subordinates and acknowledge their feelings.

They should be insightful and understanding about why their team is underperforming and how they can help the team to bounce back from it.

The Compassion in Leadership Summit is Brought to You By

People who work for an emotionally aware leader accept that merely knowing about how much their leader cares, motivates them to enhance their performance, and they feel more respected as a part of the company. The professional and personal development of each member of the organization should be a personal agenda for a compassionate leader.

The motivational pillar is all about building a strong connection with the employees and letting positive energy flow in both directions. Compassionate leadership benefits a company in unexpected ways. Besides improving staff efficacy, work engagement, job satisfaction, and retention, a compassionate leader also contribute to alleviating the status barriers and making the organizational climate less oppressive and forceful. Emotions and mental well-being influence our productivity at work.

No person who is undergoing depression or is in a vulnerable mental state can work with the same efficiency. By helping more compassionate leaders grow in the organization, we can directly foster advancement and help distressed employees to get back their efficacy.

Although compassion is an innate human trait and each person differs in the way he chooses to show his kindness to others, here are some ideas for demonstrating compassion as a leader:.


Even though there is a multitude of tasks to be accomplished within the day, it is vital for leaders to pause at times and breathe. By slowing down and observing what is going on, leaders can gain mindfulness of his team and the work ambiance as a whole.

Compassionate Leaders are Effective Leaders

[DOWNLOAD] Compassion in Leadership: A Path of Transformation by Pamela Cotton. Book file. PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download. There is a great deal of suffering in the world. Through an examination of suffering and compassion, the author suggests that the servant-leader is in a positio.

Pausing for a while makes it easier to sense any tensions that may be affecting the organization and deploy measures accordingly. A compassionate leader never refrains from asking questions or getting feedback. To them, communicating and learning about the perspective of others is a way to get closer to them and help in removing any obstacles in the path of success.

A Promising Path

Some forms of competitive striving are linked to the desire for dominance, control over others and a sense of superiority Martin et al. Released His family also benefited from his sponsorship. Keywords: compassion, leadership style, competitive behavior, attachment, antisocial, prosocial. A Compassionate Guide through Difficult Times. To nobody's surprise, The Container Store remains one of the best places to work and to shop in America. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

There are times when empathizing may make the leader overwhelmed, experience compassion fatigue, or stressed out, but in most cases, they find understanding the best way to stay firmly attached to the team as a whole. Compassion is synonymous to action and dedication. Leaders who work with an open mind realize the power that small changes in daily routine can bring in the overall productivity. Compassionate leaders are ever ready to tweak their lifestyle, change their leadership policies, and embrace new strategies that might benefit the organization.

If you identify yourself as a compassionate leader, try challenging yourself as often as you want to and push your boundaries. You may never realize your potencies unless you decide to get out of the comfort zone. Remember that compassionate leadership is all about:.

A Promising Path

Compassionate leadership training programs are in vogue. After serving several well-reputed organizations in leading positions, Jeff revealed that the secret to his success in maintaining and running this incredibly rewarding company is compassionate leadership. Compassion taught him the true meaning of success, and that was when he began implementing his core values into work. According to him, to be a compassionate leader, we have to feel and show compassion in all other aspects of our lives as well. Weiner, in his musings, dedicated a share of his leadership success to his loving partner and their fruitful marriage.

If we have the will to imbibe it into our working strategy, there is plenty of help available out there. Jeff Weiner is a reassuring and lively example to us of the fruits compassionate leadership can bear. Gaurav Sinha, a successful entrepreneur and author of this book revealed how goodness incorporates the principles of capitalism and result in organizational success.

His findings in the field of compassionate leadership and ethical working styles are phenomenal and take into consideration all the little aspects of consumerism, altruistic leadership, business principles, and the transformation of Unique Selling Proposition USP to Universally Sustainable Principles USPs. As many readers would agree, this book is one of the best reads if you are looking for a positive shift in your business.

Contemporary Leaders of Courage and Compassion: Competencies and Inner Capacities

By outlining practical steps for alleviating suffering and distress at work by using compassion, this book has a powerful message to convey to all leaders and personnel who want to work on their compassionate skills in the workplace. The Compassion Achiever is a groundbreaking and research-backed book on workplace compassion by Dr. Christopher Kukk. Covering the health and psychological benefits of working in a compassionate environment, Dr. Kukk makes this book a one-stop for professionals and supervisors of all professional fields. Kristin Neff, a leading psychologist, and a well-known writer unleash a step-by-step practical approach to the power of self-compassion in this book. She discusses the way constant work pressure and the demandingness of our professional lives can take a toll on our overall well-being, and collectively contribute to impacting our productivity at work. Neff says that unless we start showing compassion to ourselves and keep our well-being at the top of the priority list, we can never succeed as a compassionate leader or employee whatsoever.

The book is a one-stop guide to holistic happiness and self-love and highly recommended for professionals at all levels.

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Good Reads. If you are looking for some inspiration before embracing compassion, here are some sayings that will surely do you good:. The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. Compassion is to look beyond your own pain, to see the pain of others. If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.