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Five tips on compassionate leadership

Steve Pyke, Anthony Appiah, Flowers Gallery

The art of compassionate leadership is discussed by Susan Cramm in her blog for Harvard Business Review, where she argues that conveniently labelling employees is dangerous.

The author believes that it requires conscious endeavour to see others for who they really are and recognise their attributes as well as their shortcomings. However, she insists it is worth the effort both personally and professionally.

She offers five tips…

• Assume the best in others. People do the best job they can at work and if their view differs from yours it could be for perfectly valid reasons rather than them not seeing ‘the big picture’.

• Understand what makes them tick. "Humanise" others and try to understand their background, aspirations and objectives in order to develop a strong working relationship.

• Serve their needs. Help people and they will help you, so praise them and share with them. Incorporate "what makes them tick" with your plans.

• Accept responsibility. Don’t try to protect your ego when problems arise – don’t be afraid of self-examination and invite feedback.

• Assume the best intentions. Describe the behaviour and motives of others as positively as you can, and look at what you can do rather than who to blame.

Five Ways to Lead With More Compassion
Susan Cramm
Harvard Business Review