Compassionate Leadership, a concept coined by Jon Kabat-Zinn, is a consultative leadership and management approach aimed at boosting organizational productivity and innovation through employee engagement. This concept may be over looked in environments where practitioners of leadership are often focused on seemingly more measurable indicators of success. However, a closer look at incorporating this approach to leadership and management shows that this can increase productivity and profits while also improving morale.
Leadership and compassion are not usually perceived as factors that complement each other, which is exactly why we are seeing this idea resonate globally. In the current global marketplace, there is heightened uncertainty and competition. This has led organizations to cutback, flatten, and/or outsource their operations. This is why employees are now on the lookout for a deeper sense of meaning in their professional lives and the greater purpose that they are working towards.
All of these factors have therefore brought forward the need for a leadership approach which treats employees like who they are i.e. people and seeks to engage their full talent and potential. This school of leadership employs mindfulness and compassion for others as its central approach. This compassion is further broken down into 3 core domains which are:
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- Cognitive: Understanding what employees are thinking and how they were brought to think in this manner. This requires management to be actively listening.
- Empathy: Sincerely empathizing with their employees
By addressing these factors, today’s leaders can enable employees to achieve their full potential and propel them to new heights of success within the organization. This creates an organizational culture with people who are more self-motivated, more productive, and more innovative.
Practicing this style of management will induce higher productivity and problem solving among your individual employees and teams. Research has shown that these techniques not only influence the neural activity of employees and increase their work capacity. These employees will be able to diffuse conflicts, bring a strong focus, perform under pressure, work collaboratively, and influence the same positive attributes in their professional peers.
What about the leaders who practice this form of leadership? Compassionate leaders will increase employee engagement, reduce the number of disengaged employees thereby improving productivity, innovation, and profits. They will not only be striving to get the best results from their employees for the shareholders but will work for the betterment of the whole workplace. A Gallup survey completed last year has shown this approach to employee engagement results solid returns in productivity, innovation, and profits while infusing a tremendous positive energy into an organization’s culture.
What are you waiting for, start practicing this approach and you will see an immediate and positive response as individuals and teams at all levels of your organization become empowered. Check out the Gallup research at https://q12.gallup.com/public/en-us/Features or check out my more in depth article series about it at https://medium.com/@brianpalaia