Dec 13, 2011

Compassion At Work

Some people believe that compassion and especially compassion in the workplace is a form of weakness. Perhaps they think that survival of the fittest in the corporate jungle leaves no room for something like concern for other people and their feelings. March ahead, take no prisoners!

Yet report after report shows us that those who have a high degree of emotional intelligence come out ahead at work. Empathy is an important part of emotional intelligence. To relate to others you need to be able to see things from their perspective. That means acknowledging that some of your actions could be causing them distress.

Consider active listening for a minute. To have successful communications with others we work to employ active listening. This involves really understanding what the other person is telling you, again trying to put yourself in their shoes.

It is difficult to successfully show empathy and active listening without the caring component; you know the part where you truly care about what this other person is experiencing?

Of course compassion is more than just understanding or acknowledging the feelings of others, it is going beyond and wishing to alleviate their suffering. If you continue to interact with others and as a leader or influencer do not try to improve their situation (where possible and appropriate) then you are not doing your job!

It is easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore when others are having a difficult time; it is easy to make their difficulties their fault, to feel anger at them, to blame them for bringing difficulty upon themselves. It takes much more courage to step in and take action, to actively work to improve their situations.

Compassion in the workplace takes strength and courage. 

The Key Is That Your Compassion Must Be Genuine!


  1. I agree with everything you said. Empathy goes a long way to getting the job done. The day my hubby and other colleagues got the news they all lost their jobs because the guy financing the place had pulled the plug... that very man stopped by the office for a little visit. He strolled in with a BIG smile on his face knowing the burden of paying their paychecks was lifted off his back. He then proceeded to ask them how they all were doing. WTH Their livelihoods were gone because of this one guy and he wants to know how they are doing? How do you think? UNBELIEVABLE.

  2. Bless you! This was a beautiful Post. I believe that compassion is the workplace is most important.

    Hugs, Rose

  3. Being compassionate doesn't cost a thing, but pays big dividends. Most humans can feel true compassion.
    Good stuff.

  4. I think I know someone's boss that needs to read this!

  5. Excellent post Ken. Compassion and understanding of others in the work plce takes strength of character. I have often been amazed at the extremely well educated who somehow emerged without any.


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