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So what is compassionate leadership
The modern day leader needs to operate from both the head and the heart, with emotional intelligence at the helm of all decisions being made. The days of ‘command and control’ style leadership are numbered, with more and more top executives and leaders choosing to invest in people, recognising the benefits of developing a leadership style of consideration and care: compassionate leadership.

Compassion earns the respect and discretionary effort that creates high-performance and high-trust cultures.

Neuroscience has shown that we have unspoken communication with others through the sub-conscious activity of our mirror neurons. We are continually broadcasting our own emotions, reactions and undisclosed judgements of others. For a leader, this has huge implications.  Compassionate leaders integrate and synchronise values, thoughts, emotions, expressions and presence.

The Resilience Institute Australia are one organisation helping to bridge the gap between the workplace and humanity, training organisations in resilience, stress management and effective, sustainable leadership.

Some of the greatest social transitions made in the past two centuries have resulted when compassion and courage were applied to overcome fear adversity, looking at Gandhi and Mandela as prime examples.

So what is compassionate leadership?

“At its core, compassion is caring for self and others in pursuit of the greater good. When applied to leadership, this creates a calm culture; not breeding fear through punishment of performance gaps.

“Performance gaps are viewed as learning and coaching opportunities. The compassionate leader appreciates the talents of their team members and seeks to liberate their potential. Individuals with a poor fit may be assisted to find their passion in other roles or organisations,” says Taylor.

Compassionate leaders are mindful and manage their moods, are connective and receptive, take positive and affirming action, say what they feel and show sincere, heartfelt consideration and put people before procedures.

This builds resilience and energy for the individual, leader and organisation. It creates a high-performance, high-trust culture, where teams are engaged and aligned with organisational goals and values.

“Compassion can be cultivated though mindfulness meditation and learning the mental habits of empathetic listening ,and becoming aware of your thoughts and adopting an optimistic outlook, assuming that the vast majority of people are coming from a good place,” says Taylor.

The Resilience Institute Share 5 ways to inspire a more caring culture:

Start with Empathy. Listen deeply to others. Be interested in their emotions and perspectives. During interactions, tune in to their facial expressions and body language.

Emotional Intelligence. Build emotional self-awareness, compassion and love for self. Practice humility and forgiveness when you make mistakes.

Meditate. Meditation is one way to build compassion. During your meditation, reflect on compassion and experiencing care for the people around you and the broader community. Google trains 2,000 engineers in meditation each year.

Start a compassion project. Get involved in a community project for those less fortunate.

Practice Compassionate Leadership with a staff member. This could be addressing a performance issue, or recognising when to support during a challenging time.

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