Some people believe that compassion and especially compassion in the workplace is a form of weakness. Perhaps they think that survival of the fittest in the corporate jungle leaves no room for something like concern for other people and their feelings. March ahead, take no prisoners!
Yet report after report shows us that those who have a high degree of emotional intelligence come out ahead at work. Empathy is an important part of emotional intelligence. To relate to others you need to be able to see things from their perspective. That means acknowledging that some of your actions could be causing them distress.
Consider active listening for a minute. To have successful communications with others we work to employ active listening. This involves really understanding what the other person is telling you, again trying to put yourself in their shoes.
It is difficult to successfully show empathy and active listening without the caring component; you know the part where you truly care about what this other person is experiencing?
Of course compassion is more than just understanding or acknowledging the feelings of others, it is going beyond and wishing to alleviate their suffering. If you continue to interact with others and as a leader or influencer do not try to improve their situation (where possible and appropriate) then quite frankly – you suck! (Yes I said and I meant it.)
It is easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore when others are having a difficult time; it is easy to make their difficulties their fault, to feel anger at them, to blame them for bringing difficulty upon themselves. It takes much more courage to step in and take action, to actively work to improve their situations.
Compassion in the workplace takes strength and courage. Or do you think that only weak people are the ones who are succeeding in today’s world?