Hard skills | The tricky balance between leadership vs compassion - is there one?

 
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The tricky balance between leadership vs compassion - is there one?


Post-pandemic, most of us have realised that the shareholder-focused, profit-driven leader is far less important than one who leads with compassion, insight and humanity. But why do we always pit those two against one another? Are they truly mutually exclusive?

Conventional wisdom would probably say yes. After all, if billionaires and starving people both indicate a failure of an economic system, can a leader who isn’t utterly cut-throat and without moral conscience really achieve the best for the bottom line? Of course she can! And the numbers prove it.

According to the definitive study on the subject (Lilius, Frost, et al, 2008) The Contours and Consequences of Compassion at Work, people who have compassionate leadership at work are more likely to feel commitment to their organisation and to talk about it in positive terms. And we know from recent years how costly a bad employer brand can be.

Manley Hopkins, founder of The Compassionate Leadership Academy (which operates across all six of the major continents), and author of the book Compassionate Leadership, believes that losing your employees’ buy-in and commitment comes down to one simple thing: compassion (either not having it, or not showing it).

“Time and time again we are seeing employees and loyal followers lose faith in leaders who have been unable to meet the single most important requirement in leading a successful team: compassion,” he says.

HR Grapevine has been lucky enough to receive Hopkins’ exclusive thoughts below on one particularly part of compassionate leadership: how to form a bond with your team without losing their respect – and while keeping chain-of-command in place.

People who have compassionate leadership at work are more likely to feel commitment to their organisation.

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