In a recent CBS This Morning interview, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, expressed the importance of compassion in the workplace.
Regarding the organization of the future, Jeff said, “It’s about walking the walk… It’s about looking at different perspectives…it’s about those interpersonal or soft skills…that will set yourself, your team, and the organization up for success.”
To some people, this may sound like fluff.
After all, what’s love got to do with it?
How do you link compassion with success in a way that makes business sense?
First, let’s define what compassion is – and what it isn’t. A short definition of compassion is to have concern for the well-being of others. For more on this – and to learn what it isn’t – see my article on compassion and boundaries.
How does having concern for the well-being of others increase the bottom line?
Here are three ways compassion directly impacts your revenues.
When compassion is absent from communication, it reflects a lack of willingness to walk in the other person’s shoes.
It is evidenced by little or no interest in hearing the perspectives of others, or in seeking to understand. It is also evidenced by a heightened tendency for reactive and judgmental thinking.
Poor communication can actually cost your company an average of $26,041 in productivity per employee per year. It can cost your managers the ability to perform the work and manage others; and it can cost you your leadership reputation.
2. Team and organizational alignment.
When compassion is absent from a company, teams and team members within teams work in silos.
Silos are responsible for missed deadlines, arguments over who is responsible for what, distrust, poor assumptions about others, conflict – the list goes on. The energy in such a business is negative and draining to the soul, and productivity is low as a result of it.
Do you consider yourself a compassionate leader? Be careful. Hubris Syndrome can creep up quickly, and you may discover you have actually compromised your leadership. For more on this, see my article: “Can You Lead with Heart and Get Results?”
3. Competitive advantage.
Caring for others gives you a corporate edge. But when compassion is absent, it has been proven to compromise your employees’ feelings of safety and loyalty.
They doubt that learning, collaboration, and innovation are possible at your company and can shut down, which impacts the bottom line. Service quality suffers without compassion, and the employee’s desire to empathize with others and move beyond personal bias to form a team suffers as well.
It is time to identify and take action on strategies for the workplace that ignite compassion, because, as you see, love and results do, indeed, go hand in hand.
Inspired by the book, Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2017, 272 pages)
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.