By Natalie Boudou
Executive coach & Trainer, Resilience Expert, HumanForce consulting
Compassion is a key component of resilience. Too much energy is wasted in resentful or negative relationships at work and it is clear to me that positive working environments are fuelled by respect and compassion – understanding and appreciating the needs of others. Compassion enables connection. The feeling that you are liked or trusted is a fundamental need that we all have and research has shown that feeling connected with others enhances wellbeing and even reduces the chance of depression and burnout.
So why is it hard to find at work? Many leaders reject the idea that compassion has its place in the corporate environment and feel that it could be perceived as a sign of weakness or over-indulgence. The fast pace of todays’ business world means that leaders get caught up in delivering results and fail to take into account the feelings of those that deliver them. This often results in a blame culture.
Much research has been carried out on the benefits of compassion in the workplace and is it now understood that this soft skill can affect a company’s productivity and performance.
Retention of staff in a positive culture
Creating a compassionate environment is a way of retaining employees over a long period of stress and change. Even in times of restructure or uncertainty, compassion can produce trusting and secure environments where employees remain happy and efficient. A report carried out in 2013 by the Centre for Compassion and Altruism highlights that in business, when compassion is emphasised, employees are less stressed and turnover of staff is significantly lower. Their loyalty and engagement increases significantly. CEOs from Fortune 500 companies who contributed to the report talked about how their companies benefitted from a compassionate model and they acknowledged that “ the most forgotten fact in business is that we are all humans”.
Health and wellbeing from Compassion
At HumanForce consulting, our programmes are designed to increase positivity as we recognise that this is key to resilience. A number of studies regarding compassion and health at work have underlined that compassionate practices enable people to experience positive emotions which in turn lead to lower blood pressure, decreased stress and a feeling of wellbeing. Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in positive psychology points out that connecting with others improves mental and physical health and speeds up recovery from illness.
Compassion is the intent to contribute to the happiness and wellbeing of others. It is recognising the circumstances of others and taking action to improve those circumstances. Compassionate leaders have a genuine interest in not just seeing their teams perform but thriving too. The good news it that you can learn to be more compassionate-it just takes practice. Here are a few tips to improving relationships and creating happy environments at work:
For further questions please contact HumanForce consulting at email@example.com