5 – Compassion
Your role as a leader includes "nurturing" those under your watch, whether their professional desires, goals, or personal needs and concerns. You must show compassion for what is most important to them. Compassion is an innate ability to put matters of yourself aside and exhibit heartfelt concern for the feelings of another. There are many ways in which compassion may be displayed.
Ways to Show Compassion:
- With your ears. The key to understanding the concerns of another is to listen and hear what they are saying. Do not be tempted to make assumptions based on circumstances and presume you know the situation. Allow the person to express in their own words what their concerns are fully and the extent of them. Remain silent and let them freely speak, allowing them to vent and hear their concerns out loud as well. Sometimes hearing the situation out loud already begins the healing process or at least brings about ideas of resolution. And sometimes, it even makes the situation feel less intense than it initially did in their head.
- With your time. Time is such a valuable asset, making it a treasured gift to the other person. Giving your time is a generous way to show compassion. It conveys to the other person that you care for them and are willing to focus on their needs (s).
- With your heart. Allow the person to see and feel your concern. Your compassion will be evident in your face, body expressions, tone of voice, and words. It is comforting to know you are not alone, and these actions bind to the heart of another, providing feelings of strength and unity.
- With your words. After fully listening and gaining insight, offer consoling, confirming, or encouraging words to give them support or enlightenment. They are in a state of need of some sort and have just poured out their concerns. Now that their mind is less cluttered by the heavy load they just shared, they may be open to hearing ideas and thoughts about what they revealed. Until they unload their burden, this step may not occur. They may just appreciate some confirmation of what they exposed. Yet once they are drained of the information, their minds are better positioned to expand to more of a solution-seeking mode.
- Your patience. People may not think rationally when stressed, burdened, or grieving. They may act peculiarly, say unwarranted things or be overly dramatic. Be patient with them as they work to resolve their issue. Everyone responds to situations differently. Use these steps as a guide to unassumingly help them through their difficult situation at a pace that works best for them.
- Your experience. As a leader, you have a lifetime of experiences from which to draw. They have all led to your ability to lead and lead well. And as a leader, you continue to educate yourself and grow your skills and abilities. Draw on this wisdom and provide the most helpful resources or advice possible if warranted and requested. And always remember, sometimes silence is the best answer.
- Your touch. Sometimes the simple act of human touch can flood another with feelings of compassion and concern. Perhaps placing a hand on their shoulder, around their back, or a full-on hug of compassion may be appropriate. As people respond differently to touch, ensure you are comfortable with this. It is human nature to want to feel loved and accepted.
You will continually be challenged in life in one way or another. Occurrences often seem to come full circle on a consequential basis. One act of kindness, such as the giving of compassion, will inevitably find it's way back to you when you need it the most. Again, this is not the intention, yet it is a wonderful after-effect of a selfless act.
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
“Compassion comes naturally when you lose your overinflated sense of self-importance.”
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:32 NIV
What are your thoughts about this quality?
Who will you share this?