Compassionate Leadership; not “[Me] First — [Me] First!”
Our working environment will inevitably harbour some employees who have their own self-interests at heart more than they should and those who consider altruism as their guiding principle. The same may well apply to those who lead these employees.
The interests of others and our self-interest: it’s a balancing act, after all — for leaders, too.
The role of any leader, including a ‘compassionate leader’ is, surely, to create an environment where all individuals can, and will, flourish, thereby increasing productivity and reducing, for instance, absence.
Research (- a lot of research) suggests that when leaders show compassionate leadership, the team responds in such a way that they in turn ‘ape’, copy, that behaviour and productivity increases, diminishing stress in individuals — all helping achieve company goals.
Evidence shows that altruism in leadership creates environments that facilitates problem-solving and generates cohesive, supportive cultures. A self-sacrificing leader ( — yes, within reason!) will make employees feel more loyal and committed, those employees will become more helpful and friendly to colleagues, accelerating that behaviour throughout the establishment.
To what extent are your leaders altruistic? Can it be overplayed? Are your leaders’ personalities, their inclinations and preferences, conducive to aligning their staff to the company goals and to one another?
Organisations and their managers can apply proven principles of applied psychology into the way their staff are managed, to achieve effective levels of compassionate leadership that ultimately benefits everyone.
One way to achieve this is to share interests, opinions and be truly compassionate as a leader; leading by compassionate example.