6 Steps for Successful
Compassionate Leadership Implementation
By Melanie Sovann
In the past, employees usually had a boss as the head of the team unit and that person was usually seen as a totalitarian leader, who was there to implement a company’s set of rules.
Today, work and organizations have changed significantly.
Organizations no longer require “bosses” – our times require leaders: strong and highly competitive persons who will lead alongside their team in a compassionate way.
In order to be a compassionate leader, you must practice empathy and become one with your team as a whole and with each member on an individual level. In this overview, we are bringing you the most important aspects of being a compassionate leader:
1. Nurture Skills and Competence
In order to lead a team, there has to be a high level of respect towards you as a leader. Your team members should be confident in your skills and decision making in order to follow you in business endeavors.
In the past, a way to get respect was through fear. But today, you don’t want your team members to fear you because they will leave, which will increase employee turnover rate, signaling bad leadership as well.
Respect has to be gained in a healthy way, by demonstrating a high level of skills when it comes to the technical and social aspects of your business.
In sports, every team captain has a proven record of individual victories that have led to team success. In business, it’s the same. A successful sales team leader has to have a proven record in sales. That’s the first step in gaining respect inside your team.
2. Be Flexible and Engaging
In line with the previous point: as a top performer, you will probably expect everyone around you to achieve the same results you achieved and to behave in that way as well.
A compassionate leader will have the ability to recognize that everyone is different, with different skills, pace, and goals. One of your biggest tasks as a leader will be to recognize unique individual skills in each member and to find a winning formula for the success of your team based on these skills.
Some members are highly sensitive, some are highly competitive. You must be able to adapt to each member in order to get the best result from them.
If you engage more with them, they will engage more with the team mission and goals. If you help them to grow, your team and you will grow as well. It’s a win-win formula. Achieving a higher level of engagement from your members is possibly the most productive achievement you could get as a leader.
3. Setting Boundaries
When you’re a leader, you must be precise and set clear boundaries.
If you mistake compassion with generosity and if you’re a highly agreeable person, some members of your team might take advantage of it. In the long run, you might make a mistake and allow all kinds of things to lower performance members which will lead to dissatisfaction with your high performers.
As a leader, you need to find a golden mean between leading with compassion and setting strict boundaries.
You must have clear goals, vision, and mission for your team. Your desired team culture has to be established from the start. A good leader will not tell you what you want to hear, they will tell you what you need to hear.
A good leader will recognize your good performance and praise you for it. On the other hand, they will provide constructive criticism on your bad performance as well. Your set of skills, along with experience, should help you to improve every member of your team as well.
4. Practice Decisiveness
As a leader, your actions will speak louder than your words. Everything you say and do has to be aligned in a certain way so that clarity of direction is never questionable. For example, if your goal is to create a more respectful culture within your team, every decision you make has to steer into that direction and your actions have to follow your words clearly.
You can’t allow yourself to be an “all talk” type of leader. Action has to follow if you want your team to look at you as someone with integrity and compassion.
When there is a problem, you have to make a clear decision on what the solution is. A CEO is not judged by his daily productivity. He is judged based on the most important decisions he made in the past that significantly affected the company.
5. Active Listening
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Dalai Lama
You have to be a really good listener and you must provide time and allow your team members to talk to you, whether in team meetings or in private.
Your team members have to be confident when speaking with you that you’re really there for them, to listen to their concerns, suggestions, etc. In order to make good decisions, you must know everything that’s happening currently inside of your team and they have to be confident when speaking with you that you’re really there for them.
Besides listening to your team members, you should listen to other people with experience in your field and role. You should seek for their advice and you should read books related to your business and role.
Each leader strives to become a better version of themselves. Learning from educational content for leaders will help you to improve yourself and your decision-making skills immensely.
6. Smart Allocation of Energy, Time and Resources
Some things you can change and some things you can’t.
If you’re a small team leader in a really big company, chances are there will be more things you can’t change. It’s really important for you as a leader to analyze and focus on the things they can change.
Find out which important matters are under your control and focus on these only. This step is actually really important when deciding whether to accept or decline a leadership role. If your role is highly limited you should think twice before accepting, if you want to achieve important goals with that team.
Compassionate and skilled leadership is a trait that’s practiced and increased on an everyday basis. It’s not only about the big moves and decision, but how you treat your team members in seemingly small and irrelevant situations.
Through active listening and focused effort, you can become a significantly more compassionate leader, which will positively reflect on the results of your team.
Melanie Sovann is from the greater LA area and is a seasoned writer and blogger, passionate about a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from technology to sociology. She is currently a writer and editor at Top Essay Writing and loves every second of it.