Why is Compassionate Leadership Important?

Leaders are increasingly recognising that compassionate leadership is essential if you want to build an engaged workforce. There are lots of benefits arising from compassionate leadership, including:

  • Higher employee engagement scores
  • Better collaboration
  • Lower staff turnover

So, what does it really take to be a compassionate leader?

Let’s see what compassionate leadership looks like.

Compassionate leaders are unselfish

Compassionate leaders invest their time into their team members. They support their teams however they can and ensure every individual has the best possible chance of success. They champion and mentor others, and honestly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.

Compassionate leaders allocate credit where it’s due. When a team member does something great, they promote that and never try to take credit for someone else’s work. They know that they aren’t in competition with their team members. Their job is to lead and inspire them to do great work.


Compassionate leadership isn’t just about empathy

Compassionate leaders make a point of listening to their teams. They respect and value the contributions of others. They also display empathy with others and have a warm and approachable manner.

Compassion is proactive.

Being a compassionate leader is about much more than listening and empathising. It’s about taking action that truly supports people. Click To Tweet

They don’t just listen and empathise, they do something about what they hear. They also offer proactive feedback, praise often and enthusiastically and demonstrate active listening.

Compassionate leaders recognise the importance of every individual. They take a long-term view, providing what their team members need to grow and develop. They are especially focused on the well being of their people.


Compassionate leaders lead by example

Compassionate leaders are consistent, and they lead by example. They don’t just say the right things, they do the right things as well. By leading with their actions, they generate respect.

Their teams can see that there is no discrepancy between how a compassionate leader acts, and how they expect their team to act. In turn, this inspires people to be the best version of themselves and to also lead by example.

Compassionate Leadership Quote

Compassionate leadership doesn’t mean letting things slide

It doesn’t mean shying away from tackling the difficult stuff. Compassionate leaders don’t ignore poor behaviours in their teams because that’s not in anyone’s best interests. Being a compassionate leader means delivering what your team need to grow and develop, not necessarily what they want or what will make them feel good in the short term.

So, compassionate leaders don’t shy away from addressing poor behaviours. However, they do approach these conversations in a compassionate way. They aim to get a real understanding of what’s causing the poor behaviours so that they can support improvements. They also avoid placing blame or negativity on the person and focus on the specific behaviour instead.


Compassionate leaders put people first

Compassionate leaders know that people come before processes. They understand that their team members have personal lives that may occasionally interfere with work. They make sure that they are open and approachable so that their team members are comfortable discussing issues with them.

Because they understand and are able to put their people first, their teams tend to have an increased sense of loyalty.

Being a compassionate leader is challenging, but the rewards are more than worth it.

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