It’s no secret that the “softer” personality traits aren’t as valued in organizations. Empathy, self-reflection, and goodwill take the backseat to efficiency, results, and profits. What would you say if I told you that fostering the former skills would actually improve the latter?
Jane Dutton, one of the founders of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and University of Michigan Roth School of Business, has been studying and researching compassion in the workplace. Her research shows that when you train in mindfulness, it has an immediate impact on the quality of your relationships with your colleagues.
To be an effective leader, it is crucially important to be a good listener. To be a good listener, I mean a really good listener, there are three conditions that must be met according to Dr. Thomas Gordon. They are: acceptance, empathy, and genuineness.
Dr. Gordon studied psychology with Carl Rogers, one of the most famous psychologists of all time. Rogers talked about unconditional positive regard, empathy, and congruence and Tom Gordon applied those concepts to non-therapeutic situations that were practical for parents, teachers, and managers...
Empathy is the ability to understand the other person’s point of view - both the content and emotions. It does not mean that you have to have the same feelings or experience the same things or have had the same experience in the past. Have you ever heard someone say,
“I know how you feel.” It is difficult not to be sarcastic or to respond defensively. “
No you don’t!” Or, how about, “I feel sorry for you.” Wow! How insulting “Can’t you do anything on your own? I need to do this for you as well?”
Author of the much acclaimed book Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux, will discuss the emergence in many different sectors of a whole new type of organisation – one that eschews hierarchy and bureaucracy in favour of truly soulful and...
A new business paradigm, in which management aims to to foster a better world, is rapidly taking hold.
McGrath posits that there have been three thematic ages of management since the industrial revolution: execution, expertise, and now, empathy.
She says, "If organizations existed in the execution era to create scale and in the expertise era to provide advanced services, today many are looking to organizations to create complete and meaningful experience. I would argue that management has entered a new era of empathy."
Recently I gave a seminar for the top 100 or so leaders of a global manufacturing company, at the invitation of the head of HR. It was their annual leadership development meeting...
I’ve never seen a list of a great leader’s abilities that did not include impactful communication. And that requires empathy – the third domain of emotional intelligence. There are two specific kinds of empathy; one is cognitive empathy, understanding how others think about the world. Once you know their mental models you can put what you have to say in terms that will make most sense to them.
The second kind, emotional empathy, means you can sense immediately how another person feels. This means you can fine-tune what you say so it has a positive impact.
I have just returned from an interesting experience in Washington. D.C.: a panel discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The event was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a leading neo-conservative think tank responsible for m...
Whether you call it personal development, personal growth, self-actualization, self-transcendence, or spirituality does not matter. What matters is realizing that the reason you were born is to become the best human being you can possibly be.
I took part in a conference in London to explore the benefits of creating a culture of compassion at work.
My role was to introduce and interview the speakers - leading business professors, consultants, psychologists, scientists, teachers, healthcare professionals and others who have been studying compassion and how it can transform companies and organisations...
Here are six things I learned about why this matters:
1. Stress is bad for business...
2. Compassion boosts the bottom line...
3. Givers come out on top...
4. Compassion makes us happier and healthier...
5. Kindness is contagious...
6. Everyone wins...
Andy Fraser - Journalist focusing on empathy and compassion
In Business or the world of work?What is Empathy?Empathy and ConflictTwo wayEmpathy and LeadershipConclusion
One of the hallmarks of a successful business is its ability to harness creativity, to challenge the status quo, to push boundaries and to innovate. Without growth and innovation, businesses stagnate and eventually fade away. Those with staying power are likely to have mastered this important skill which allows them to focus on the future with clarity: empathy.
Empathy helps us to get along, to understand each other, to work together and to resolve problems. In the world of work, we cannot get along without it.
Wharton’s Sigal Barsade says demonstrating “companionate love” in the workplace is vital to employee morale, teamwork and customer satisfaction.
Already, though, the research seems to be pointing to a strong message for managers in all industries, Barsade says: tenderness, compassion, affection and caring matter at work. “Management can do something about this,” she says. “They should be thinking about the emotional culture. It starts with how they are treating their own employees when they see them.
tenderness, compassion, affection and caring matter at work.
Are they showing these kinds of emotions? And it informs what kind of policies they put into place. This is something that can definitely be very purposeful — not just something that rises organically.
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.
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