There are many skills and traits that make a good leader, and I believe that compassion is one that many leaders don’t talk about or leverage enough.
The ability and willingness to work to understand and empathize with the struggles of others, and to respond with kindness and support, is what we’re talking about here. And research has shown that compassionate leadership can have a range of benefits for teams and organizations. For example, when leaders show compassion towards their team members, they’re more likely to feel valued and supported — feelings that almost surely will increase productivity and engagement (and lower turnover rates).
Compassionate leaders are also willing to be vulnerable with their team members. This means sharing their own struggles and weaknesses, and being open about their own challenges. By doing so, leaders build stronger relationships with their team members, and create a culture of trust and understanding.
If you’re looking to develop a more compassionate approach to leadership, here are some tips:
- Listen (actively): Take the time to really listen to your team members, and show that you understand their concerns and challenges.
- Empathize: Try to put yourself in your team members’ shoes, and imagine what it’s like to be in their position.
- Appreciate: Take the time to recognize and appreciate your team members’ hard work and contributions.
- Support: When team members are struggling, offer support and guidance to help them overcome their challenges.
- Be kind to yourself: Remember to practice self-compassion as well, and be kind to yourself as you navigate the challenges of leadership.
Compassion can help build stronger relationships, increase engagement and productivity, and create a more positive workplace culture.
That’s a win-win for everyone.