What is Compassionate Leadership?

What is Compassionate Leadership

Business leaders from around the world have seen the wondrous effects of compassionate leadership both in a team’s efficiency and effectiveness. This type of leadership differentiates good leaders from brave ones. Applying this management style across the board is not only socially responsible but also morally right

It takes courage to invest in change that’s why only brave leaders do it. Successful leaders have the courage to do so because they understand the value of compassion in work. It’s high time that leaders move to a more progressive approach in their management style.

The 3 Elements of Compassionate Leadership

Compassionate leadership can be a vague concept if it’s your first time hearing about it, so let me make it easy for you. The concept of compassion in the workplace is a variation of the management principle “Espirit de Corps” which is calibrated to fix the issues in the modern-day workplace. Here are the elements of this leadership concept to better understand what it is:

  • Open and Effective Communication – This involves both the management and the empolyees’ openness in understanding feedback from one another. This way, both parties can clearly improve what’s working and fix what’s not. Gone are the days of traditional hyper-objective 360 feedback that never really tackled the root cause of management-employee disconnect.
  • Humanity – This aspect of compassionate leadership is the most felt in the workplace. It involves applying DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in the structure and day-to-day of the organization. A humanity-focused leader is concerned with people’s growth as much as effectiveness and productivity.
  • Empathy – This means that leaders know and feel everyone’s status within the organization. This creates trust between the management and its talents. To its full extent, the organization becomes involved with building connections within the company that helps in decreasing chances of burnout.


  • Is compassion a strength?
    • Compassion is a strength in the sense that it promotes other strengths of the company. It’s best to see compassion is a way for leaders to see the underlying problems in the workplace before they even arise.
  • What are the characteristics of a compassionate leader?
    • A compassionate leader is someone who is self-aware, empathic, a visionary, and reliable. These characteristics differentiates good leaders to great ones. A good example of compassion is servant leadership which is highly observed in the public governance of well developed countries.
  • Compassion v.s. Empathy
    • We shouldn’t see compassion and empathy as two different things. Compassion is empathy in action.

How Do You Implement Compassionate Leadership?

  • Do an evaluation – Evaluate the organization to see the improvements you need to make to be more compassionate. This includes you as a leader and the changes you need to take in your approach. I know it’s hard to identify flaws in your own leadership but self-awareness is the first step in improving your leadership style.
  • Appreciate your team – after you evaluate your organization, you must be aware of the good, the bad and the ugly. show that you are aware of your team’s achievements and that you appreciate the efforts that they make. Let your team know what isn’t working and what needs to be changed.
  • Create Trust – Decrease the gap between the management and the team by instilling influence rather than authority. Employees are more inclined to seek for a leader than a boss.
  • Empathy beyond the workplace – although work is focused within the walls of your organization, your connection to your employees goes beyond. A great leader sees the team as humans rather than machines.
  • Assert credibility – Practice what you preach. Your team will be more naturally inclined to trust you if you are firm with your word. This gives clarity to the goals of your organization and provides inclusion in reaching those goals.

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