There are many aspects of being a successful leader for your company or your team, but probably one of the most important ones is being compassionate. Success only comes through understanding your team and knowing how to work well with others, and compassion can help you achieve that.
Transforming into a compassionate leader might take some time and determination from your part. You will also need to know a few tips as well as the right steps to take in order to achieve your goal. But in order to get a better understanding of those steps, you should, first of all, get a better understanding of what it is like to be a compassionate leader.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams
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What does being a compassionate leader mean?
Compassion as the skill of a leader means that they will have to show kindness and patience to their team. It is also important to have a strong will to treat their team with respect. Compassion comes from inside the person and can help them lead their team well, without raising any conflict between its members.
One of the best things about compassion is how it can truly affect the way your team functions as a whole. If they know they have your support in every step of the way and they can always turn to you for advice, support, and directions, they will find it a lot easier to work with one another.
As a result, your team’s organization will increase and your employees will be more likely to treat your customers in a much more professional way, thanks to the values you have transferred to them. The main thing you should be trying to achieve is a way to make everyone feel welcome, bonded with you and their co-workers and motivated enough in order to work to their fullest potential.
In order to help you achieve all of these skills and become the leader you dream of becoming, here are some basic steps you need to follow in order to successfully become a compassionate leader.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” –Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder
Here are 9 steps for successful compassionate leadership implementation.
1. Express your vision
The very first thing you need to keep in mind on the road to becoming a compassionate leader is to always express and share your vision with the people you are working with.
Each team has a set of goals they wish to achieve and certain things they wish to learn through the hours they spend on a project.
If you wish for your team to start bonding and to look up to you and your dreams in regards to your work, you need to start sharing your thoughts with them. Everyone in the team will have something to contribute to your vision of the team and they will be able to help you set some goals you can all follow in order to achieve them.
This can even become a weekly or monthly common activity for your team, which will allow you to spend time together in an informal team meeting. You will be able to create a safe space where they will be able to share their successes, failures, and ideas which will help everyone improve their tactics and take everyone a step closer to their goal.
As the leader of the group, it is your responsibility to establish an environment where everyone feels safe and appreciated enough in order to share their own views about a problem or your common goals. Each person has a different way of thinking and one person’s thoughts could teach everyone, including you, new ways of dealing with a problem and becoming better at what you do.
Sharing the confidence, you feel with your team can be a lot easier than you might think. Confidence can radiate from strong leaders and help motivate their teams to work harder and achieve their goals, so they can start working more like the person they look up to.
Whether you are the leader of your company or simply a leader of a team in a company, showing confidence in your decision-making skills and motivating your team to take risks and work hard will help you rise in the eyes of your own employers.
Expressing your own opinions without doubting yourself, making mistakes, owning up to them and sincerely apologizing to the people involved will help teach your team a lot about your work ethics and allow you to
3. Communicate with your team
Establishing effective communication between your team and yourself is one of the most important things when it comes to running your own team. It is also one of the things that a compassionate leader will be able to easily manage to achieve with their team thanks to their set of skills.
Communication is all about building trust with every person you work with. No matter whether personal sympathies exist or not, you should let the people you work with know that you are always open to discussion and ready to give advice and listen to whoever needs it.
This will help everyone take you seriously and listen to what you have to say. If you treat your team with respect and show them that you are willing to explain everything they ask you to, they will also show you the same amount of respect and take what you have to say seriously.
4. Understand their needs
Another thing a compassionate leader is able to do is pay close attention to the needs of their employees and work towards making sure no problems are left unsolved. The basic needs of your team, no matter how small, always matter and the attention you pay to them will make a big difference in regards to the communication between you.
In the world of business, the needs you need to be on the lookout for are trust, stability, security about the quality of one’s work and effective communication between members of a team. If you manage to work on communicating with everyone effectively, you will be able to also build trust and let everyone know that you are there to listen to their problems in regards to their job.
5. Make the right changes on yourself
A compassionate leader should never be afraid of change. No matter the circumstances, working on yourself should be your number one priority as it will allow you to adapt to new situations better and improve the way you work.
Showing your employees that you are always attending new seminars, learning new skills and working on improving the tactics you use in your work environment will be the best motivation for them to also work harder on their self-improvement.
Encouraging the people you work with to start accepting change as a positive side of the progression of their career will help you create a stronger, much more intelligent and hard-working team that will be able to handle any problem with a lot more ease and determination.
6. Invest in building your team’s strengths
Working with a certain group of people for a while will allow you to see their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you know exactly where to focus on each person and help them grow based on their talents.
A compassionate leader will be able to figure out exactly what an employee is good at and how they will be able to promote them in order to make sure they evolve that skill even more. This is a great opportunity for you to take risks in regards to the way you lead and give your employees the opportunity to experiment with working in different fields, as long as you believe they will be able to handle the change.
A successful set of actions will reward you with a team member who will be able to work on their strengths and grow in a very productive way. Not only will your members admire you for being able to put your trust into the skills of someone who work with, but they will also never doubt your word and trust every decision you decide to make.
7. Show empathy
When you work with certain people for large amounts of time, separating work and personal problems can be rather hard. You can lend an ear to anyone that needs to speak about a personal matter that is affecting their performance at work but you should remind your employees about the importance of keeping a professional relationship intact.
Being empathetic is a quality of a compassionate leader that immediately reflects on their work ethic and rules. Showing empathy about the struggles your employees are facing, whether those are personal or professional will help you bond with them, build better personal and professional relationships and allow you to work better together.
This will show your employees that they can always count on you when a problem arises and that you are always there to help and listen to them. An empathetic leader is one that will be able to give their employees the security they need from their workplace and allow them to put their doubts aside and rise to their fullest potential.
8. Always accept and give feedback
Accepting criticism and advice from your employees will help you show your humble side and encourage your team to share their thoughts about the collaboration between you and your individual work too. Giving and receiving feedback is one of the best ways you can find out about any potential problems without having to put too much effort into looking out for them.
Being open to receiving feedback and being honest about the actions of your employees and their results will help build trust between your team and allow you to work better together in the long run. Everyone will be able to work hard towards creating an atmosphere which will help everyone be productive and working in a way which will allow them to improve their productivity and work habits.
9. Making progress through the right employees
After you have been working in a certain field for a while, you will come to find that the best way to make your team productive is through hiring the right employees. While it might be your intention to give the right foundations to everyone you lead and help them become the perfect employees, you will come to find that as a leader, it is much smarter to pick the right people from the start.
This is something you should consider doing from the very beginning of your team. Being compassionate means that you will be able to understand your team’s problems and if a person is causing issues for the rest of your team, you should consider letting them go.
The well-being of your entire team is much more important than the ego of one person and it is up to you to decide when it is time to pick someone new for a certain position. Sadly, you won’t always be able to fix every relationship and help everyone blend in, so the only way to make progress is through finding the right people for each position.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” –Ronald Reagan
Helping yourself and your team evolve
A compassionate leader is someone who will be able to work through any issue, motivate their teams and achieve common goals without fear of failure. Working on the different skills that will make you the leader you wish to be might take some time but it will help you win over everyone you work with and influence them to become better and achieve more for the common good of your team.
You can make the choice to start working on your leadership skills at any point in your career and there are plenty of books, seminars and online courses that can help you become the leader you deserve to be. The point is to never give up on your goals and to always keep in mind that your personal development will reflect upon the development of the people you work with.