Loss reduction? Profit maximization? Return on investment? How about developing your compassionate leadership capacity as your metric for success? It may sound a little counter-intuitive, but if you work on these five factors, you will realize that greater success through increased innovation, increased profits, more work unit cohesion.

5 Factors to Develop Your Compassionate Leadership

1. Begin With Yourself

Practice caring for yourself and making sure that you have a sound work-life balance. This balance ensures that you have more resilience and capacity to be able to practice compassion. If you are stressed out and at your wits end all the time, you will miss opportunities to be empathetic when it could most help those around you be more successful. What is practiced at the top will be passed along through the organization like a butterfly effect.

2. Slow Down

If you think that you are caught up in a cycle of activities that will burn you out, then the first thing you need to do is slow down. Self regulation makes practicing compassion much easier. Build in some reflection breaks and recreation time spent with those you care about it or doing something fun you enjoy.

3. Be Kind

This sounds very simple, but it can take discipline to practice consistently over time. To do this, you will need to balance making decisions using both logical and emotional intelligence. If you can master this approach, your kindness will be repaid through increased motivation, employee engagement, increased productivity, and increased innovation.

4. Practice Mindfulness

One of the factors to being successful practicing compassion is the discipline of your thoughts through mindfulness. Mindfulness has a tendency to clear your thoughts for the most effective forms of decision making. You have to regularly practice of mindfulness. Try taking out 10 minutes from all your daily routines for quiet meditation and reflection. Not only will you achieve a clear mind, but you will also be able to strengthen your emotional intelligence.

5. Focus on Others

Using your emotional and social intelligence, you should make it a habit to put others first. Regularly practice non judgment and empathy, by perceiving things from other people’s perspectives, even if you do not agree with those perspectives. This does not necessarily mean taking a soft approach. Just pause and evaluate how people are affected by your decisions and adjust to improve what you can.

The 3 Traits of Compassionate Leaders

The former CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI developed by Google) had highlighted 3 traits that define compassion:

1. Empathy

Understanding what someone else is feeling — even if you do not feel the same way.

2. Cognitive

Understanding what someone else is thinking of when they came to hold an opinion — which requires mindful listening.

3. Motivation

Taking into account other people’s motivations.

Working on these factors as a means of self improvement will develop your own capacity as a compassionate leader. Integrating this philosophy into your leadership style will prove success through increased employee engagement in your organization. This in turn will increase innovation, productivity, and profits.

For more about how increased employee engagement can have a positive effect on the bottom line, check out my article series here: https://medium.com/@brianpalaia/actively-disengaged-at-work-a-leadership-challenge-4729055ad41b.