Compassionate leaders are leaders who change the culture of the organizations they work in. When you have leaders who actually care about the people they lead, the employees notice.
With so many hard-nosed, angry, and frustrated leaders, we don’t see as many compassionate leaders as we should. Instead, we put up with cranky, tense leaders who make the working environment unpleasant.
You can change this. You just have to work on becoming a compassionate leader.
How To Become A More Compassionate Leader
As you work toward becoming a more compassionate leader, I want you to keep the following thoughts and ideas in mind. These actions will help you become what you want to be: a more caring leader.
Show appreciation on a regular basis:
The act of gratitude, or appreciation, changes a person. The more you show your people how much you appreciate them, the more compassionate you will become.
Tell your team members thank you, I appreciate you, or you did a great job when you see them do something you appreciated. They’ll get a boost of dopamine, and so will you.
Put yourself in others’ shoes:
It’s hard to feel for someone when you can’t relate to them. As you rise through the ranks of an organization, you get further and further away from those you lead.
The more money you make, the different office moves, and the heavier responsibilities can make you distant and forgetful of where you’ve come from.
Use role-playing and thinking to place yourself in the shoes of others. Think about what they’re experiencing, how they’re experiencing it, and why. You’ll discover their motivations and feelings will differ drastically from yours.
Take the time to listen:
I get it. Your days are filled with action items, to-do lists, and fires to put out. You don’t have the time to listen.
That’s where you’re wrong.
You have the time to listen. But you have to make it. When you make the time, you won’t regret it.
When you listen, you begin to understand others (remember the point above this of putting yourself in others’ shoes?). People will talk your ear off if you let them. What they contribute to the conversation will be keen insights into who they are.
You’ll be able to relate and understand more when you listen.
Practice what you preach:
If you’re a Christian leader, you must practice what you preach. You tell others that they have to forgive. Do you forgive? You tell others that it’s okay to make mistakes. Are you allowing yourself to make mistakes? You claim life isn’t about making money. Are you too focused on the next paycheck?
You get out of alignment when you don’t practice what you preach. You begin to lose your compassion because you’re holding others to standards you don’t hold yourself to.
Get rid of criticism:
Criticism is the killer of compassionate leaders. You no longer have the ability to sympathize and understand. Instead, you’re looking for faults and ways to express those faults.
Look for ways to rid yourself of criticizing words and actions. Instead, replace those with helpful, guiding words and actions.
This slight shift will help you help others.
You Can Be Compassionate
You’ll slip up, mess up, and become frustrated as you work toward being a more compassionate leader. That’s okay. You’re not perfect.
While becoming a compassionate leader for your team, you’re going to learn that you also have to learn how to be compassionate toward yourself.
Work on the actions above. As you do, you’ll not only become a more compassionate leader, you’ll become a more compassionate leader. You’ll find yourself understanding, giving grace, and caring for others, and yourself, more.
That’s a perk of being more compassionate.