The qualities of an effective leader are often debated, and while some skills are relatively universal, some leaders may be better qualified to lead in certain industries or positions than others. In this modern age, there are some leadership styles that have become obsolete due to ineffectiveness, and traits like compassion have risen in popularity due to their positive influence on a workforce as well as long-term effects on business. Compassion, while perhaps not traditionally associated with ideals of leadership, is now a priority for many leaders in order to effectively manage and guide their employees.
Compassion is an Investment
Leading others while keeping an emotional distance may be easier from some individuals, but it can have a detrimental effect on relationships within a company as well as the employees themselves. Showing compassion to those you are leading effectively entails making an investment in their lives; by demonstrating that you are sympathetic to their personal and professional struggles (and that you are willing and able to help them manage), leaders can connect more genuinely with employees, thereby giving them more incentive to perform well and stay with the company for a longer period of time.
Compassion Fosters Collaboration
When leaders show that they care about their employees as individuals, that entices those employees to play a more active part in the growth of the company. It also provides them with more confidence to speak up when they have ideas, questions, or criticisms. A collaborative workforce is one that refuses to remain stagnant; in other words, through compassionate leadership, individuals can promote greater opportunities for growth and development.
Compassion Prioritizes People Over the Process
Because of changing ideals pertaining to careers, many businesses are experiencing higher rates of turnover than they did previously. In some ways, compassionate leadership can help lower these rates in addition to promoting individual development and company prosperity. Some businesses may turn to laying employees off in order to save money, but this attitude can ultimately harm the business. Instead, leaders who adopt a people-first attitude will likely see more employee loyalty, and they will also be able to facilitate individual growth that prepares employees for different positions within the company, further promoting a longer tenure.
Compassion is crucial for the modern business, so leaders would do well to prioritize leading with compassion, especially when times are tough.