Don’t Stop at Empathy. Your Employees Need Compassion

The Science Behind Leading With Empathy vs. Compassion

Compassion Neutralizes the Risk of Burnout for All

How to Lead with Compassion

  • Start with self-compassion first. You can’t develop a compassionate practice with others if you can’t first do it for yourself. Let go of harsh self-criticism and cut yourself some slack when patience is due. Get into the habit of self-compassionate practices like getting enough sleep, taking adequate breaks, and making time for things that fill you up.
  • Establish a regular routine of mindfulness. Mindfulness enables compassion and makes people more self-aware. A greater sense of self-awareness helps to make leaders more intentional about their decision-making and more present in their interpersonal interactions.
  • Consider how you can be of benefit to others. Before you start a meeting or important conversation with a colleague, check your intention. Ask yourself, how can I be of best service to this person today? Reflecting on this intention to serve before you meet with other people will help to create a more human interaction, focused on growth and development.
  • Give more than you take. It’s hard not to think of ourselves most of the time; to think of our responsibilities, our commitments, and our challenges. But sometimes we need to get our minds off ourselves. We need to consciously decide to think of others and make a deliberate decision to give more than we take. This can be as simple as being present and giving your time to focus on others. Plus, when we know we’re helping others in a selfless way, it can help to re-energize us and reconnect us to our organizational purpose.
  • Help others to see what they need to be happy. Regardless of how good it feels to get a pay bump or buy a new car, research tells us that external events and experiences do not create true happiness. These things create pleasure, not happiness. We all want to feel successful and enjoy the pleasure that it brings, but we need to be careful we don’t mistake it for happiness. True happiness, in contrast, is an experience of fulfillment and lasting well-being. Happiness comes through our deeper humanistic experiences like doing purposeful work, caring for others, being generous, and making authentic connections. It’s the long-term state of experiencing a meaningful, purposeful, and positive life. When we model the pursuit of true happiness for our teams, we can help create a culture where others place more focus on real human connections which creates more benefit and the potential for more genuine happiness for everyone.

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