Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can Leaders Show Genuine Compassion?

The following is an excerpt from one of my recent newsletters. In this edition I discuss the second of the four most consistent things that people look for in their leaders - showing compassion.

Great Managers Care
Of all the soft skills this one is probably one of the hardest. As leaders, we are taught to keep the lines between business and personal very clear. Showing compassion can tend to push us across that line pretty quickly.

Research is showing, however, that the great managers really do care. And employees are responding very positively to that kind of attention. Here are a some of the benefits of showing genuine compassion as reported by Gallup:
  1. Employee loyalty - they are significantly more likely to stay with the organization

  2. Substantial productivity increases - getting more done with the same resources

  3. Greater employee engagement - they are much more involved in the mission of the organization at a meaningful mental and emotional level. This (along with great productivity) is important because Gallup has also been able to show a direct link between employee engagement and company profitability.
Here are a few, simple ways to show that type of compassion:
  • Make simple, casual inquiries about the person's home/family life - and really listen to the answer.

  • If you see that the person isn't feeling well, give them permission to go home and rest.

  • Send a hand-written note of support and encouragement to the family during tough times.

Sign up for my free monthly newsletter entitled, "Growing Leaders for Growing Organizations."

Seize the day!

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