Managers: Compassion and Accountability Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

What is compassion?

Caring deeply for others with genuine intentions and understanding is what compassion is all about. Hands-on leadership is an effective method of directing that boosts teamwork, creates more faith, and encourages commitment. Compassion is a virtue or quality of human kindness. Showing kindness and being hospitable to someone else is a nice gesture.

One does not need to be in a specific relationship (such as in a friendship, family, or have a co-worker connection) in order to selflessly give of oneself to another. Showing compassion does not require us to meddle or attempt to manipulate the person or circumstance to satisfy our own needs. It instead works towards their wellbeing and well-being.

We should have sympathy for others besides those we know, particularly those who are less privileged. Similar to children in a classroom, elderly individuals asking for money on street corners, mothers with newborns at the health facility, and victims of offenses to whom we testify.

Being able to respond in a positive way when emotions are high or conditions are difficult is what is meant by compassion. Helping out other people with small gestures such as flashing a smile, offering friendship, or consoling someone in distress is a compassionate act. Acting in a way that does not hurt another person or prevent them from having a satisfying life is an act of Compassion.

Compassion at workplace

It may be especially important in a work environment where employees are working with other people, as there will likely be a great deal of issues and disputes. This factor helps them empathize & communicate effectively. They can watch how their coworkers interact with other people. They can then step in if necessary. Managers can avoid strife by giving clear direction and ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Management with a caring attitude which goes beyond sympathy and understanding is what is known as compassionate management. It involves controlling your own emotions. Entering into another person’s perspective and learning about their feelings, difficulties, assets, and talents so that you can make judgements wisely is also part of it. Kindhearted supervisors constantly set aside their interests to prioritize the needs of others, fostering a rapport by getting in tune with the thoughts and emotions of their colleagues which further safeguards a more understanding workplace.

Leaders have the ability to demonstrate empathy, and demonstrating empathy implies that you are not only helping your company and the people you lead, but you are also helping yourself. Having a strong ability to understand and share the feelings of others greatly helps in developing close connections, exchanging information and working together. Having compassion for others involves being caring, kind, and loving, all of which are incredibly vital for successful management.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the relevance of having compassion for managers and the boon it can bring, we will now illustrate the 10 advantages of being a sympathetic manager in the workplace.

10 Benefits of building compassion as a manager

There is great potential for businesses to benefit from an increased attention to compassion. It is imperative that all staff members of a company, be it the top-level executives or the most menial employees, should possess the attribute of empathy. Particularly, this virtue should be important to managers, as there would be various advantages that having compassion as a main tenet would afford the company.

1. Better communication with your team members

Leaders who demonstrate compassion are better at communicating than those who do not, leading to stronger connections. A leader with empathy should result in effective communication between your team and the organization you work for. A manager’s demonstration of kindness can be seen in something as small as an email or during company-wide meetings; this will make sure that communication runs smoothly and without any issues.

2. Compassion improves motivation of employees

Research has indicated that staff who believe they are not being remunerated appropriately or do not feel they can make a sufficient impact in an environment where promotion is limited, are likely to seek employment elsewhere no matter how skilled or capable they may be. Leaders with a caring attitude employ understanding and sympathy to get to know their staff on a more personal level and generate quality work, simultaneously bringing their spirits up.

3. Compassion improves job satisfaction of employees

Leaders who show empathy and care can increase employee satisfaction and motivation through the way they manage them. This produces staff that will work toward greater accomplishments in the firm they work for. Having compassion encourages feelings of contentment, alleviation, and faithfulness. Expressing feelings of encouragement and enthusiasm towards your workers can bring out the best in them.

4. Resolve conflicts effectively

Leaders who show understanding and sympathy swiftly and emphatically take care of disputes in every way. They stay away from clashes in the workplace so as to reduce the likelihood of clashes or strained relationships within a company. A leader who is caring is quick to intervene and find a solution to disagreements as opposed to sitting back and letting others do the work, thus keeping essential personnel productive and working to their best abilities.

5. Committed to encouraging creativity and innovation

Leaders who are caring create an atmosphere within a business where workers are free to come up with new ideas by providing them roles that are adaptable. They make sure that their job duties have been clearly established before they accept the job. The managers also collaborate with the individuals to devise fresh concepts. On the job site, there is space granted so that workers can make choices without needing to consult anyone in upper management.

6. Better working relationship between managers and employees

Having concerns about what creates a positive working bond between a supervisor and their staff is a form of compassionate leadership. Managers who show empathy are deeply invested in the atmosphere and operations of the company. Creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and acceptance for those associated with the company. This form of leadership involves taking an active role in workplace activities.

7. Compassion Increases Productivity

Management that is full of empathy involves the company and its team members aiming to boost both successful outcomes and positive working environment connections. This in turn leads to increased work satisfaction. Mentors who demonstrate kindness and care get involved in their colleagues’ activities in the workplace. Confronting any concerns they express is a great way to develop stronger relationships with them in the long run. Having compassion is seen as very important in studies about businesses, as it has direct influences on managerial positions, mental and emotional health, and productivity.

8. Compassion builds greater trust within managers and employees

Kind-hearted bosses generate confidence in both themselves and employees in the workplace, leading to increased commitment from personnel. This makes it simpler for administrators to spread kindness, as they can now center their efforts around the tasks that their staff members need to complete instead of the particular details of their job.

9. Compassion builds mutual respect between team members

Leaders who are sympathetic and understanding create a workplace where employees communicate effectively and work together well. Colleagues that wish for equitable treatment in the workplace and those who speak in a courteous fashion to one another are both inspired by empathy which leads to recognition and gratitude. A leader who has empathy helps to create an air of respect which is hard to achieve and encourages effective collaboration amongst various members of the organization. This strengthens each team member’s assurance in themselves and thus reduces the reliance on each other within the team.

10. Overall a healthy workplace

Leaders who demonstrate caring and understanding create a positive and healthy work environment by showing their appreciation and fondness for the people they work with. They demonstrate deference to peers and customers, and bolster the potency of their leadership. Managers with a compassionate approach to business aid in instilling trust and confidence between co-workers, ultimately contributing to a reduction in disputes in the office.

Now that we’ve established the importance of compassion and how it can benefit us in the workplace, the next question is this:

What steps can we take to balance being supportive and having rigorous expectations for employees in the workplace?

Since the start of the pandemic, managers have been encouraged to take a supportive approach and be sympathetic to their employees as everyone is dealing with the emotional distress that events from the COVID-19 pandemic have caused. As many areas are beginning to open up again, some supervisors are uncertain about how to maintain a balance of empathy for their personnel and enforce the demand for work to be completed. Would you be willing to be accommodating with regard to due dates and output standards even if it means not achieving the team’s goals? What steps can you take to be sympathetic and supportive of individuals while still requiring them to take full responsibility for their actions? And should you worry about being taken advantage of?

Rather than thinking of it as a trade-off between compassion and accountability, here’s some advice on how you can combine the two:

Reframe how you think about the last year

It is quite simple to consider the last 12 months as an unsuccessful period – a time when none of us achieved our goals. But that wouldn’t be entirely fair. Rather than concentrating on what wasn’t achieved, emphasize what you and your teammates did accomplish, as suggested by Linda Hill, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of Being the Boss. It is likely that much was achieved despite the difficult situation. Rather than viewing your approach with staff as “acting too kindly,” Hill suggests looking at it as “being accommodating, which is the correct option.”

And reframe how you think about motivating employees

It could be necessary to reconsider your beliefs regarding what encourages staff members. You should not think of compassion and accountability as opposites; rather, they are complementary aspects of the same thing. Many managers presume the necessity of being stern in order to obtain desired results from others, but studies do not confirm this idea. Increasing job pressure can end in a so named “threat rigidity effect,” where those feeling like they are in a pressure situation become entrenched in what they’re already familiar with, thus making it difficult for them to think of creative ideas or apply new approaches.

Don’t ignore the reality

Many people are attempting to resume a more common daily routine, so it may be assumed that it is possible to regain the amount of productivity there was before the pandemic. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that most individuals are still feeling overworked. Treating mental health issues in the workplace the way it was addressed in the past – by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist – no longer functions. It has become apparent that workers are eager to have the ability to have conversations about psychological well being topics in the work environment.

What if you feel taken advantage of?

If some of the people on your team have been asking for exceptions to existing rules and regulations, such as asking for extra time on projects, lighter duties, or days off to concentrate on their well being, then it’s understandable if you feel like they’re placing an unfair burden on you, particularly if you have been consistently working hard and delivering on your tasks without any assistance. Managers may be tempted to wonder why they can keep going while other people struggle, but it’s not useful to draw comparisons between one’s capacity for resilience and another’s suffering. Everyone’s situation is unique, of course. Do not become distracted by pondering if certain employees are trying to take advantage of the circumstance. Hill advises that it is preferable to assist people who are burned out rather than concentrate on whether someone is exploiting the lenience.

Instead, deal with under-performance directly. If an individual is not able to perform their duties as expected, it is important to figure out the reasons behind it and open up a discussion about dealing with the underlying problems.

Focus on resilience

Resilience plays an important role. One technique to encourage your team, especially during times of prolonged tension, is to demonstrate to them how much they have accomplished. You could inquire if anyone has improved or come to recognize any fresh skills or abilities during the pandemic,understanding that it’s acceptable if they haven’t. You also want to relate their work to the reason it is being done.

Have individual conversations — and plans

You need to have a conversation with each of your team members individually so you are conscious of their different conditions. Do not take it for granted that you have an understanding of what those are, even if you have been in near proximity. Things shift. At the same time, clarify what the job requires. You could state, “These are the tasks that must be completed.” “Can that be done?” Then pay attention to what they consider to be achievable. Considering the situation, you and the other person involved can work out together what it would be best to do next. Do not accept prolonged lack of results for any length of time. In conclusion, it is necessary to find someone to complete that task.

Take it to the group

A great way to foster responsibility is to implement it in a team setting. Rather than pressuring individuals, seek out approaches that allow team members to hold each other responsible. Gather together as a group and collaborate to come up with solutions.

Take care of yourself

Do not forget about your own needs while tending to the needs of your employees. It is quite probable that you are experiencing the same stress as the other people in your team, and you are all feeling the need to produce desirable outcomes. Ensure that you make time for yourself to look after your well-being. That means getting some restful shut-eye, consuming a nutritious diet, being physically active, and having the assistance you require.

The exhaustion caused by managing a team and striving to accomplish goals makes it easy to give in to the temptation to withhold compassion. But it’s important to stick with it. Be mindful of your own capabilities and limitations when it comes to helping or assisting others, but view acts of compassion as a way to invest in your staff.


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