Compassion is a hot topic as the world opens its heart to the plight of refugees in Europe, and businesses recognize the bottom line benefits of cultivating compassion in the workplace.
Compassion is one of the great-unheralded traits of business leadership. To some hardliners, compassion is a sign of weakness, while for others it is recognized as an important part of cultivating harmonious relationships.
Emotionally literate leaders recognise that being compassionate towards others is a key motivating force that builds higher-quality interpersonal relationships, boosts employee loyalty and commitment, and increases productivity levels. Compassion is an essential component of emotional literacy because it is the adhesive for connecting with others.
True compassion is a sincere heartfelt sensitivity to others that happens organically like helping a colleague after hours to meet her deadline. But sometimes an emotional evaluation head-trip takes away that moment of selfless service when the inner voice critiques our actions and is overridden by the arising of person needs. Each of us can be subjugated by the havoc in our heads as we feel the pull of shoulds and should nots trying to make us appear as the perfect person. Attempting to minimise or ignore thoughts or emotions only serves to amplify them. Through the cultivation of self-awareness you have the ability to objectify the arising of programmed thinking and beliefs, and the mental space to be more sensitive and mindful with your responses others.
As you increase your emotional intelligence, so you become more compassionate towards self and others, as you no longer identify with the conditioned voice in your head. You develop objective awareness of your emotional states, what triggers them, and recognise the same in others.
Studies have shown that the positive effects of compassion in the workplace are related to productivity and pro-social behaviour. Creating a culture of compassion and kindness in the workplace, or in society at large, generates a chain reaction of generosity and goodness, which leads to an elevated state of wellbeing. This is the only future for a sustainable business world where care and commitment go hand-in-hand.