(1 minute read)

No, we’ve not gone all touchy-feely here!

The advent of a more empathic style of leadership has had its fair share of supporters. However, Neuroscience has recently uncovered that too much empathy can cause stress and burnout for the empathiser, whereas compassion produces feelings of concern, warmth, and motivation to help the other person.

Compassionate leadership involves a focus on relationships through careful listening to, understanding, empathising with, and supporting other people, enabling those we lead to feel valued, respected, and cared for, so they can reach their potential and do their best work. (West 2021).

Tips for leaders and managers to cultivate compassion:

• Ask how you can help. Don’t assume you know what’s needed.

• Look for commonalities with your team members.

• Encourage cooperation instead of competition in your team.

• Cultivate a genuine curiosity about the individuals on your team.

• Lead by example; treating others with compassion is contagious.

• Be mindful of boundaries; avoid being an emotional sponge.

Regardless of your level of experience, you can practise compassionate leadership through being present, seeking to understand, empathising, and helping – where practical and permitted.


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