When you talk to businesses about compassion there is a perception its fluffy and weak but in fact the opposite is true. Our new 21st Century working world has learnt so much from our predecessors – we know kindness isn’t glib but powerful, so much so it’s expected. Compassion operates within our well-being programmes, our working hours, our working remotely or flexibly. Compassion gets RESULTS!
Many people believe that compassion has no place in the workplace but is that really right?
There is much research and science in support of why compassion, positivity and happiness belong at work. Martin Seligman developed the Positive Psychology movement which has revolutionised how we look at happiness in all aspects of our lives but not least work. We know that compassion empowers better behaviours.
It’s true to say that some industries lean towards more caring practices but why is it not across all? Following the lockdown and a time to step back, is now a time to reform with a new working principle? Work and leadership are perceived as power, and in turn how we claim our power has been through aggression and fighting for our corner in the world. What that brings is a rebellion towards capitalism and the global economy. So how do we embrace rebellion and power and turn them from negatives to positives?
How about we start to look at what opposes aggression; compassion and see compassion as our powerful tool to transform how we work. Instead of treating employees as fools, we start to treat them as adults, respecting that checking in with them, hearing their voice and giving out some kindness will really get results. Aggression leads to stress and with stress comes increased cortisol and lack of creativity, is that a world we really want to be part of? We have an opportunity here to reform with some better principles in work but only if we’re willing to accept that some things just weren’t working. Long commutes, parents worn out from juggling children and work, children juggling elderly parents and work, obesity and mental health on the rise – 9am-5pm has had its day. But so has policies that police people, and the idea that someone who has less than two years service can be more readily dismissed. Its time to re-address these things and give compassion in work its moment.
Remember kindness = compassion + courage”. For more on this read The Compassionate Mind by Dr Paul Gilbert
So in this Mental Health Awareness week, think beyond this moment and be part of leading the change. #mentalhealthawarenessweek #kindness #reachout #compassion #leadthechange #bethechange