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Effective business leadership goes beyond just achieving business objectives. Building and cultivating relationships with employees is crucial for the overall success of the organization. Compassion for team members plays a significant role in creating a supportive workplace environment. 14 Forbes Business Council members share essential steps for leaders to become more compassionate, including communicating regularly and transparently, embracing empathy, immersing themselves in the team’s experiences, adopting empathy, merging compassion with power, and embracing vulnerability.

Communication is key for compassionate leadership. Leaders should communicate with employees often, listen to their perspectives, and work together to find solutions. Active listening is emphasized as an important component of compassionate leadership, creating an environment where employees feel valued and supported. Immersing oneself in the team’s experiences and challenges humanizes the workplace, inspiring loyalty, engagement, and a culture of understanding and value for team members.

Empathy is highlighted as a crucial aspect of compassionate leadership. When employees feel heard, understood, and valued, they are more engaged, motivated, and loyal. Compassionate leadership fosters a positive work environment where people feel safe to express themselves and collaborate effectively. It also allows leaders to build stronger relationships with their teams, leading to better business results. Cognitive flexibility is also mentioned as essential for compassionate leadership, allowing leaders to adapt to others’ needs while steering towards common goals.

Vulnerability is seen as a powerful tool for leaders to become more compassionate. By sharing insecurities, struggles, and emotions, leaders build trust, empathy, and deeper connections with their employees. Model transparency is also encouraged, as it cultivates psychological safety and inspires trust among team members. Self-awareness is mentioned as a starting point for compassionate leadership, enabling leaders to monitor their feelings during conversations and apply what they learn to other people.

Recognizing the power one holds as a leader is essential for cultivating compassion. Leaders should actively listen, practice radical candor, and embrace vulnerability to become more compassionate. Developing empathy, putting oneself in their employees’ shoes, learning their names, and determining whether they are transactional or relational are all important steps for leaders to foster compassion in their organizations. Finally, swapping roles with team members can facilitate mutual understanding and empathy, deepening connections and reinforcing the core mission of the organization.

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