Compassion: a Fundamental of Mindful Leadership... and Life

What is the role of compassion in the workplace? Very simply, it is one of the four fundamentals of leadership excellence, of mindful leadership, and of living mindfully. And it can be a new year's resolution that you can implement starting today!



Compassion at Work



Compassion can be brought into each work day through simple acts of kindness. When we choose to take a purposeful pause and offer a colleague a compliment, or a word of encouragement, or inquire into their well-being, we bring kindness into the workplace. And the ripple effect of kindness is limitless. A compassionate leader can transform the most challenging workplace. When a leader embodies compassion and is seen as a kind person, even his or her toughest messages are more likely to be received well. After all, when we work with someone who honestly respects, includes, and values us, it goes a long way to making us trust his or her decisions.



Being kind is not the same, however, as being polite, or politically correct. Kindness comes from compassion, an authentic connection to others and the pains and joys they feel. If it does not come from the heart, it can have a disastrous effect. When someone we have a significant relationship with, like a boss or a colleague, is just going through the motions, asking "How are you?" but not really caring to stay around for an answer longer than "fine," we notice the insincerity. When we encounter that person, aloof and disconnected, we don't feel respected, included, or valued. We feel invisible."



Excerpt from Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership



So, as we begin a new year, perhaps we can each form an intention to take a purposeful pause, to begin to understand those around us just a little bit better, and to bring small acts of kindness to our colleagues. What might the experience of work be like if we each began to bring a small act of kindness to those we work with each day? It may only take a few moments, and need not cost anything, so why not give it a try? The ripple effect might surprise you.



Happy New Year!



-- Janice



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