As a leader are you “in touch” with your team? Leaders who stay tuned in to what is going on with their team have better success in achieving the organizations goals. Does this mean that you have to be a pushover who listens to every sob story of each person on the team? No, it means that you are aware of the overall state of your team and you address issues with kindness and caring. Compassion has strength behind it; otherwise helping others can drain you.
Here are three key components to acting with compassion:
- Notice non-verbal cues. Observing how the team is working and how they are acting will speak volumes about how things are going. You may see that one person has withdrawn or is being avoided. This is a problem spot.
- Listen carefully. People will tell you a lot of information without telling you what is the real problem. By listening carefully you can hear what is not being said and ask meaningful questions to get to the cause of the issue.
- Speak less. Asking open ended questions and allowing time for the person to answer will help you find out what is going on and will show that you are interested in what they have to say. People want to be heard and by asking and then listening you will demonstrate you are aware of their need to be heard.
When you take the time to demonstrate you are paying attention to the people who work for you they will respond better to the goals and objectives that are given to them. Focusing only on results and performance without paying attention to the person doing the work gets you compliance not collaboration. When teams collaborate the results are more than the sum of the parts. More is achieved in less time when people work together. Having a compassionate leader who is genuinely concerned about the individuals as well as the results will help to create a collaborative environment.
To read more on this topic see 6 Exercises to Strengthen Compassionate Leadership from Fast Company.
What do you do to show your compassion for your team?