Compassion in the Workplace: 9+ Examples & Tips for Leaders

compassionate leadershipCompassion comes from a Latin word which means ‘co-suffering.’

Practicing and expressing compassion have always secured a firm place in almost all religious practices.

Dalai Lama, one of the most respectable Buddhist preachers, stated that individual acts of compassion and kindness have the power to spread harmony in the entire world.

In psychology, compassion is regarded more like action rather than an emotion. Involving elements of empathy, love, and care, compassionate expressions aim at alleviating the troubles of others or sharing them with the sufferer.

Compassion has three components:

  1. We must feel that the troubles evoking our feelings are serious.
  2. We require that the sufferer’s troubles are the result of unfortunate circumstances–that is, they are not self-inflicted.
  3. We must be able to picture ourselves in the same predicament (Cassell, 2002).

Compassion doesn’t follow a give-and-take approach. Instead, it has an added component of altruism in it as the person showing compassion rarely expects to receive the same or does so to get something in return. In all its essence, compassion is “empathy in action.”

Recent research and findings have recognized compassion to be an essential aspect of a productive work environment (Dutton, Workman, & Hardin, 2014). Showing compassion to colleagues, superiors, or subordinates, are vital to sustaining job satisfaction and work-related motivation.

This piece investigates the professional benefits of being compassionate – how being compassionate can help one’s career to grow and how many successful leaders today rely on compassionate leadership to flourish in their field. Let’s dive in.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Relationships Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients build healthy, life-enriching relationships.

What Is Compassion In The Workplace?

Studies show that organizations in which compassion prevail, have employees with reduced stress and more job satisfaction (Fineman, 2000). Additionally, workplace compassion also invites more loyalty, dedication, and employee engagement.

Organizations have an emotional component in them, and employees who work with each other compassionately are more likely to help and cooperate.

We can express compassion in the workplace by:

  • Noticing when colleagues are in pain or are undergoing some personal stressors, and try to make them feel secure and comfortable at work.
  • Actively listening to others without judging them.
  • Accepting criticisms and carefully stating our opinions to someone for underperformance or failure, making sure we don’t hurt someone’s feelings.

Focusing on compassion at work promotes healthy interpersonal relationships (Dutton & Ragins, 2007). It lets us acknowledge and appreciate others wholeheartedly and work for the organizational benefits, rather than personal gains. Studies show that compassion works by building trust, mutual connections, and reciprocation.

Acts of kindness in the workplace impact not only the carer and the receiver, but it also has a positive impact on the performance culture as a whole (Brody, 1992). Research has also revealed that communicating with empathy and kindness upgrades the value system of the employees and they feel more involved as a part of the team.

It reduces anxiety, the pressure of achieving, and makes them resilient to work stress and burnout (Frost, Dutton, Worline, & Wilson, 2000). And this is why many leading organizations today emphasize building a compassionate environment before aiming for any other achievements.

A Look At The Importance And Benefits

The definition of compassion clearly states the importance of the ‘action’ component in it.

Unless we can express compassion through our behavior, the feelings cannot be conveyed.

Organizations may have tremendously talented professionals who have uber experience in their field, but unless they greet others with respect, talk empathetically, or be able to internalize others’ pain, they cannot be as successful in their fields.

The benefits of being compassionate at work are vast. It guarantees a healthy flow of communication that has warmth and love in it and goes all the way to improve a company’s organizational health. A company indeed will succeed if it has employees and managers exhibiting these traits.

The Benefits Of Workplace Compassion

1. Employee Retention

One of the vital benefits of a compassionate workplace is employee retention. Employees who receive empathy, understanding and help from their colleagues and superiors are likely to stay in the organization for a long period of time and install all their efforts for the benefit of the organization.

On the contrary, employees who are ill-treated or fail to receive any professional co-operation whatsoever will lose motivation to work productively.

2. Stress Reduction

Compassion creates space for active communication. Employees in a compassionate work atmosphere can vent out their professional troubles to each other and socialize in the office. It lets the stress get evened out and increase the likelihood of being more productive.

Working with compassionate and kind people give employees the chance to manage work stress and burnout and use their emotional resources to combat it (Figley, 1995; Lilius, Worline, Dutton, Kanov, & Maitlis, 2011).

Studies show that when people exchange positivity and bond with each other at work, their stress level significantly reduces (Ozaki, Motohashi, Kaneko, & Fujita, 2012).

3. Physical Wellbeing

A study on workplace health and wellbeing in 2008 revealed that employees who spent a few minutes interacting and mixing with their colleagues had steady blood pressure and heart rate (Heaphy & Dutton, 2008).

Besides, their immune systems were well-functioning, making them less prone to take sick leave. Increased functioning also called for better work-life balance, and the employees had happier families and social life.

4. Interpersonal bonds

Leaders and managers who follow compassionate approaches at work, have highly reciprocating employees who work dedicatedly for the company. They tend to pay forward the goodness they receive at work by achieving the organizational targets.

Besides, they also form healthy and strong professional relationships and feel comfortable to work as a part of the team.

Exchanging compassion promotes generosity and builds affective commitment of the workers towards their superiors and the institution as a whole (Shanock & Eisenberger, 2006).

When people perceive that they are valued and cared for by the organization, they automatically feel positive about their work commitments and voluntarily offer support and care to others they work with (Fowler & Christakis, 2010; Goetz, Keltner, & Simon-Thomas, 2010).

Byproducts of Workplace Compassion

3 Examples Of Compassion In The Workplace

The Harvard Business Review (Parmar, 2016) of the top 20 empathetic companies worldwide explained how the compassionate and mutually understanding work environment of these firms contributed to their major success and increased their revenue manifold.

Robert Ferguson, a famous author, and a professional values enthusiast cited three companies while explaining the role compassion plays in creating employee satisfaction.

1. The Hospital Corporation Of America (HCA)

HCA is a leading healthcare organization in the USA. With over a hundred hospitals and a large number of employees working for the organization at different levels, the company has outstanding records of having a helpful work environment.

Ferguson’s report stated that there are specific codes of conduct included in the company’s policies that emphasize dealing compassionately with clients as well as co-workers. The company vouches for its emotionally rewarding environment and mentions that they aim to serve everyone with equal kindness and empathy.

The code of conduct HCA follows undoubtedly exemplifies how a compassionate workplace can sustain its success for so long.

2. The Autism Research Center (ARC)

ARC came up as an initiative of the Cambridge University (UK) to promote awareness on autism, early prevention, and conducting extensive research on the causes and treatment of autism.

With scientists and professionals contributing to this organization from all over the world, the ARC works purely on the principles of empathy and kindness.

Bringing together education, collaboration, and support, ARC is gaining massive popularity for researchers, educators, and parents who deal with autism spectrum disorders personally or professionally.

3. The UnitedHealth Group

The UnitedHealth Group is an American healthcare company that ranked as the fifth most successful company in Fortune 500 rankings 2018.

With huge turnovers each year, the UnitedHealth Group has a lot to teach about a compassionate workplace. It promotes kindness by its Tagline “Walk in the shoes of people we serve and those with whom we work.”

Research And Studies

Zest and researchIn 2021, it was estimated that the average American worker spends about 34 hours at work per week (Doyle, 2021).

Spending such a long time in a place where we do not receive or get the chance to express compassion can take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing.

Lack of compassion at work results in more absenteeism, more sick employees, more unhappy families, and remarkably less productivity at work, all of which cumulatively affect the organizational profits and social image.

Studies on positive workplace suggest that compassion and kindness evoke positive emotions. Empathy and affection help workers dealing with a painful life event find meaning in their suffering and use it as a stepping stone to success.

For example, a person who is undergoing marital separation and is suffering from significant emotional distress can very quickly lose focus while working in a cruel environment. But on the flip side, if that person receives attention, help, and support from colleagues during such difficult times, it may work wonders in rebuilding self-esteem and keeping productivity untouched (Folkman 1997; Folkman & Moskowitz, 2000).

Compassion from leaders and co-workers brings a feeling of gratitude and influences the person to reciprocate in the same way when noticing someone else struggling with adversities (Fredrickson, 2003; Fredrickson, Tugade, Waugh, & Larkin, 2003).

In a hospital-based survey on the importance of compassion and empathy at work (Meyer & Allen, 1991), it was found that being treated with kindness created a positive emotional attachment for employees towards their work and patients towards their medical careers.

Compassion and care are traits all medical professionals should portray, and the investigators chose a hospital setting for the research assuming that they would have no barriers in openly discussing compassionate working.

Objective scales for measuring positive emotions, the frequency of compassion, and compassion satisfaction showed that employees who had better scores in the compassion and positivity scales had more likeability among patients and fellow workers (Tsui, Pearce, Porter, & Tripoli, 1997).

The investigation was a large-scale one and firmly asserted the role compassion has to play for building affective commitment and reducing the professional strain that comes from working in such a demanding profession (Allen, 2001).

What is Compassion Value In Organizations?

Thupten Jinpa, a Tibetan scholar and English translator to Dalai Lama, defined compassion as “a mental state endowed with a sense of concern for the suffering of others and aspiration to see that suffering relieved.”

Jinpa indicated that every expression of compassion has three aspects in it:

  • The cognitive aspect – “ I understand your problems”.
  • The affective component – “I feel what you feel”.
  • The drive or motivational component – “I want to help you out of this.”

At a core value in the workplace, compassion creates efficacy in leaders; it helps them undergo a positive transformation to become not only a better supervisor but also a superior human being. As Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic had put it, “compassion influences a leader to start thinking from ‘I’ to ‘We’.”

Compassion in the workplace first appeared when Florence Nightingale, after her divine service and support in the field of medical nursing in the 1860s, coined that understanding the pain and suffering of an ailing person is impossible for a healthy person unless the healthy person can prioritize the value of compassion before economic aspects.

She went a long way in spreading the awareness of why empathy and kindness are vital to succeed in any service, whether or not it is related to treatment. Her principles influenced many healthcare organizations then and continue to do so even today.

Compassion value in organizations means:

1. More importance to the employees’ wellbeing

Psychologists have argued that people who are more compassionate and considerate towards their employees on a one-on-one level are more popular and successful in their careers (Melwani, Mueller, & Overbeck, 2012).

For instance, if a recruit suddenly encounters a personal loss, a compassionate working system would allow him time off and offer him support to overcome the adversity and bounce back positively, rather than pressurizing him with protocols and formalities.

Not only would this compassion help him recuperate, but it will also bridge the gap in the leader-employee relationship and give it a mutually beneficial turn.

2. More positive relationships flowing at the workplace

Compassion as a value encourages employees to have more positive contact with each other. Compassionate leaders and managers can build this attitude by organizing weekly meetups, feedbacks, or allocate more group projects so that the employees get a chance to work in the team spirit, get the motivation to help and support each other, and contribute to the common goal of the company.

3. More open-hearted interactions

Nonjudgmental heart-to-heart conversations at the workplace call for more authenticity and openness among co-workers. In an empathetic work environment leaders and co-workers treat each other with respect irrespective of what designations they hold, they are always up for discussions and are ready to attend to any issues that might require their assistance.

4. Wider perception

Compassion value in organizations invites ‘cognitive empathy’ or the feeling of ‘this person is just like me.’ Managers and workers in a conducive environment are always aware and ready to accept the perception of others, and try to step into their shoes before concluding.

Such an approach builds an overall broad understanding of the industry and automatically gets passed on as a part of the performance culture among all employees of the firm.

5. More self-compassion

It is vital to be self-compassionate before a person can accept or express compassion to others. Unless we are kind to ourselves, we can never understand the value of compassion and how it benefits us.

Self-compassion is easy to practice – we can start with daily positive self-affirmations like “I am worth it,” “I am free from sorrow, pain, and guilt,” “I am trying my best,” etc., and slowly pass on the same values in our interpersonal relationships at work.

A Look At Compassion Satisfaction

Compassion satisfaction is the pleasure we get from being able to work compassionately.

It includes the way we interact with our colleagues, clients, and superiors, and the positivity that we allow to flow in our professional lives with kindness and care.

For example, a doctor may derive compassion satisfaction from being able to treat patients successfully and giving relief to their friends and family. Or a therapist can obtain compassion satisfaction from knowing that clients felt comfortable opening up about their problems.

Compassion satisfaction brings a natural and purely subjective feeling of fulfillment and contentment. Nurses or carers who work with sick people derive this from successfully nurturing them and catering to their daily requirements.

A survey on social workers and their level of compassion satisfaction found that nurses, teachers, educators, and social or community workers derive a high level of compassion satisfaction from rendering their service to others every day.

But they are also prone to ‘compassion fatigue,’ a condition that upsets them from internalizing and empathizing too much with others. Especially nurses who served the critical care units, reported feeling compassion fatigue after serving the ailing people day long.

Several studies, including the one mentioned above, emphasized on the importance of compassion and care in the service sectors and also indicated that it is best to take measures for preventing compassion fatigue in workers so that they can sustain compassion satisfaction and their productivity at work (Sacco & Copel, 2018).

Compassion in the workplace

6 Tips On How To Show Compassion At Work

For those who are wondering how to start, here are some simple hacks on how to show more compassion at work:

1. Self-compassion

All positive feelings should start with yourself. Unless you can show love and kindness to you as a person, you cannot prove it to anyone else. Start with regular activities such as giving a few compliments to yourself, forgiving yourself for any past mistakes, or focusing on your strengths and capabilities more than your shortcomings.

2. Communication

The key to being compassionate work is a sound communication pattern. Whether it is a team member, a supervisor, or a client, communicate openly and express yourself clearly to others. At the same time, lend your ears to anyone who wants to confide in you and listen with patience and neutrality at all times.

3. Contact

Only if it is appropriate to do so, you can rely on expressing your compassion by establishing a gentle physical contact with the sufferer. A gentle pat on the back, eye-contact, or holding the hands while listening to shared sorrows are powerful NVCs (nonverbal cues) that express compassion and empathy.

4. Encouragement

Compassion gets reflected by verbal encouragement and motivation. You can practice compassion at the workplace by continuously supporting and cheering others for their hard work and achievements. You may never know when your words will start reinforcing them positively and bring about favorable changes, but keep on encouraging them.

5. Initiation

Whether it is by providing personal support, exchanging feedbacks, or expressing your opinions, if you are a compassionate worker, be prepared to take the first move. Compassionate leaders and workers set an example to the entire work fraternity by their sense of responsibility and openness to others.

6. Thoughtfulness

Be aware of the emotions and thoughts of others. How your words might affect your colleagues, subordinates or your clients should be your prime concern. You can work on building general awareness by careful observation at the workplace, organizing meetings and feedback sessions at regular intervals, or one on one conversations that can help in gauging the mental state and level of engagement in the person.

What is Compassionate Leadership? (Incl. Definition)

Authentic leadershipThe concept of compassionate leadership was initiated in the mindfulness propositions of Jon Kabat-Zinn.

In his works, Zinn indicated compassionate leadership as a way to reduce work stress and increase peace among professionals.

His studies further suggested that compassionate leadership is a learned phenomenon, and anyone is capable of building themselves up as a compassionate professional if they want to.

Following this line of research, the Harvard Business Review assessed helping leaders identify their levels of compassion. The evaluation is self-scorable and gives an accurate judgment of whether or not we can call ourselves compassionate leaders. You can take the test here.

A compassionate leader is interested not only in motivating employees to gain profits for the company, but also helping them grow on a personal level. Such leaders have the far-sighted vision to hold genuine talents for long-term and think about the greater good of the organization.

Time and again, studies have proved that compassionate leaders are preferred more among employees, more popular among clients, more comfortable to talk to, and more positive in giving honest feedback. They are sure shot resources for guaranteeing the development and success of the organization.

Who is a Compassionate Leader?

A compassionate leader is someone who:

  • Is self-motivated and able to influence employees positively.
  • Builds long-term trusting relationships and collaborations for the company.
  • Is morally strong and has an ethical code of conduct.
  • Takes responsibility for low employee productivity and aims to rebuild it.
  • Has the ability to make a team feel secure and comfortable at work.

Dalai Lama said:

When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just ourselves or some immediate convenience.

Compassionate leadership has an in-built aspect of being a compassionate individual.

Researchers have argued that a genuinely compassionate leader should be empathetic and kind in all other walks of life, including the professional sphere; only then can leadership skills be successfully maximized.

The Compassionate Leadership Model

The Compassion Workplace Model of Roffey Park stated that there are five aspects of compassionate leadership and management (Poorkavoos, 2016):

  • Being aware of the needs of others.
  • Being non-judgmental to the viewpoints of others.
  • Being resilient and tolerant toward personal distress.
  • Feeling and showing empathy at all levels of a professional life.
  • Being accountable and responsible for all good and bad outcomes of the team.

The compassionate leadership model emphasizes the here and now aspect of leadership. That compassionate leader should be mindful of the present situation, and the current requirements of the organizations is a vital requisite here.

3 Pillars of Compassionate Leadership

Thupten Jinpa indicated three core pillars of compassionate leadership (Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, n.d.).

1. The Cognitive Pillar

Jinpa said that to succeed as a compassionate leader, one must open your cognizance to understanding the problems and situations of your employees. A compassionate leader should have facts checked at all times, and be ready to connect and support the team to flourish.

The cognitive pillar indicates clarity of thoughts, the absence of prejudices and thought blocks, and the openness to accept the viewpoints of others.

2. The Affective Pillar

The affective or the emotional pillar touches base with how the leader truly feels about people she works with. Compassionate leaders should have the power to identify the emotional distress of their subordinates and acknowledge their feelings.

They should be insightful and understanding about why their team is underperforming and how they can help the team to bounce back from it.

People who work for an emotionally aware leader accept that merely knowing about how much their leader cares, motivates them to enhance their performance, and they feel more respected as a part of the company.

3. The Motivational Pillar

The professional and personal development of each member of the organization should be a personal agenda for a compassionate leader. The motivational pillar is all about building a strong connection with the employees and letting positive energy flow in both directions. As mentioned earlier, the main idea is to follow the shift of focus from ‘I’ to ‘we’.

Traits And Styles Of A Compassionate Leader

Compassionate leadership benefits a company in unexpected ways. Besides improving staff efficacy, work engagement, job satisfaction, and retention, a compassionate leader also contribute to alleviating the status barriers and making the organizational climate less oppressive and forceful.

A compassionate leader shows the following traits typically:

  • Compassionate leaders are always open to learning and accepting their limitations. They accept feedback and are self-driven to improve their skills.
  • Compassionate leaders are approachable. They are comfortable to talk to, and employees find it easy to access them for any difficulties they face at the workplace.
  • They are aware of the requirements of the team and the organization.
  • Compassionate leaders have a robust ethical code; they respect values and implement moral ethics as a part of the performance culture, which helps in fostering loyalty and dedication in workers at all levels.
  • Compassionate leaders are solution-focused. They try to explore the causes of personal underachievements or failures of a team as a whole, and rely more on employing resources to solve the issue rather than criticizing or tormenting the individuals for their mistakes.
  • The prime focus of a compassionate leader is to influence, and not to dictate.
  • Compassionate leaders are passionate and dedicated to their work and their team. They genuinely love what they do and are equally committed to the people who work for them.
  • Compassionate leaders are always there to support and guide their team. Irrespective of how hard the situation may be, they proactively plunge in to help the team and share their part of the responsibility for each success or failure.

How To Best Demonstrate Compassion As A Leader

Emotions and mental wellbeing influence our productivity at work. No person who is undergoing depression or is in a vulnerable mental state can work with the same efficiency. By helping more compassionate leaders grow in the organization, we can directly foster advancement and help distressed employees to get back their efficacy.

Although compassion is an innate human trait and persons differ in the way they choose to show kindness to others, here are some ideas for demonstrating compassion as a leader:

1. Slow down when you need to

Even though there is a multitude of tasks to be accomplished within the day, it is vital for leaders to pause at times and breathe. By slowing down and observing what is going on, leaders can gain mindfulness of their teams and the work ambiance as a whole.

Pausing for a while makes it easier to sense any tensions that may be affecting the organization and deploy measures accordingly.

2. Never stop asking

A compassionate leader never refrains from asking questions or getting feedback. To them, communicating and learning about the perspective of others is a way to get closer to them and help in removing any obstacles in the path of success.

3. Empathize every day

Acknowledging others’ problems as if they were your own is a quality that makes compassionate leaders stand out among others. There are times when empathizing may make the leader overwhelmed, experience compassion fatigue, or stressed out, but in most cases, they find understanding the best way to stay firmly attached to the team as a whole.

4. Be open to change

Compassion is synonymous to action and dedication. Leaders who work with an open mind realize the power that small changes in daily routine can bring in the overall productivity. Compassionate leaders are ever ready to tweak their lifestyle, change their leadership policies, and embrace new strategies that might benefit the organization.

If you identify yourself as a compassionate leader, try challenging yourself as often as you want to and push your boundaries. You may never realize your potencies unless you decide to get out of the comfort zone. Remember that compassionate leadership is all about:

  • The ability to lead as a person others would love to follow.
  • The quality of inspiring others and creating a futuristic vision for the company.
  • Making team members feel valued and appreciated.
  • Inspiring others by setting the right examples.
  • Building a conducive work environment with high performance-culture and mutually benefitting professional commitments.
  • Caring for and treating others with kindness and affection.

Training Compassion In Leadership And The Workplace

Compassionate leadership training programs are in vogue.

Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Compassion is the basis of all morality.”

Many well-known organizations are investing in collaborations or setting up their compassion training modules to help leaders and employees work on their compassion values and moral code of conduct at work.

As a part of the organizational culture, compassionate training programs help in:

  • Motivating personnel to be more productive by being compassionate and empathetic.
  • Making a person become more observant and an active listener.
  • Rooting a highly functioning performance-culture and promoting a positive mindset.
  • Maximizing personal skills and building emotional resilience.
  • Imbibing keen awareness at work and promoting empathetic communication.

A successful workplace compassionate leadership program comes with the following outcomes:

  • It draws attention to compassion and its benefits at the workplace.
  • It destroys any conflicts that existed within the team members and leaders.
  • It allows people to understand the positive correlation of workplace compassion and success.
  • It helps participants to recover from their mental blocks and focus more on their wellbeing.
  • At the end of the program, participants become more proactive and agree with helping each other whenever required. Compassion programs restore the team spirit in the employees.
  • Such programs teach the participants how to use pure relaxation and breathing techniques to reduce their work stress every day.
  • Training programs promote gratitude among employees and leaders and motivate them to build mutual respect.

Jeff Weiner On The Topic

Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn since 2008, has his unique take on compassionate leadership. After serving several well-reputed organizations in leading positions, Jeff revealed that the secret to his success in maintaining and running this incredibly rewarding company is compassionate leadership.

Weiner refers to compassionate leadership to have ‘an incredible competitive advantage’ over all other forms of professional strategies.

Jeff Weiner’s discussions on workplace compassion reveal that kindness and empathy brought a spiritual aspect to his professional life.

Compassion taught him the true meaning of success, and that was when he began implementing his core values into work.

According to him, to be a compassionate leader, we have to feel and show compassion in all other aspects of our lives as well. Weiner, in his musings, dedicated a share of his leadership success to his loving partner and their fruitful marriage.

Weiner’s revelations indicated that compassion could be learned and improved over time. If we have the will to imbibe it into our working strategy, there is plenty of help available out there. Jeff Weiner is a reassuring and lively example to us of the fruits compassionate leadership can bear (Weiner, 2018).

4 Recommended Books

1. Compassion Inc.: Unleashing the power of empathy in life and business – Gaurav Sinha

Compassion IncGaurav Sinha, a successful entrepreneur and author of this book revealed how goodness incorporates the principles of capitalism and result in organizational success.

His findings in the field of compassionate leadership and ethical working styles are phenomenal and take into consideration all the little aspects of consumerism, altruistic leadership, business principles, and the transformation of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to Universally Sustainable Principles (USPs).

As many readers would agree, this book is one of the best reads if you are looking for a positive shift in your business.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Awakening Compassion at Work – Monica Worline and Jane Dutton

Awakening Compassion at WorkAuthors Monica Worline and Jane Dutton call compassion an “irreplaceable dimension of excellence for any organization that wants to make the most of its human capabilities.”

Their book ‘Awakening compassion at work’ identifies how lack of kindness can exhaust workers and deplete their motivation and team spirit.

By outlining practical steps for alleviating suffering and distress at work by using compassion, this book has a powerful message to convey to all leaders and personnel who want to work on their compassionate skills in the workplace.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. The Compassion Achiever: How Helping Others Fuels Success – Dr. Christopher Kukk

The Compassionate Achiever: How Helping Others Fuels SuccessThe Compassion Achiever is a groundbreaking and research-backed book on workplace compassion by Dr. Christopher Kukk.

Covering the health and psychological benefits of working in a compassionate environment, Dr. Kukk makes this book a one-stop for professionals and supervisors of all professional fields.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power Of Being Kind To Yourself – Dr. Kristin Neff

Self-CompassionDr. Kristin Neff, a leading psychologist, and a well-known writer unleash a step-by-step practical approach to the power of self-compassion in this book.

She discusses the way constant work pressure and the demandingness of our professional lives can take a toll on our overall wellbeing, and collectively contribute to impacting our productivity at work.

Neff says that unless we start showing compassion to ourselves and keep our wellbeing at the top of the priority list, we can never succeed as a compassionate leader or employee whatsoever. The book is a one-stop guide to holistic happiness and self-love and highly recommended for professionals at all levels.

Find the book on Amazon.


If you are looking for some inspiration before embracing compassion, here are some sayings that will surely do you good:

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Ralph Nader

Compassion is to look beyond your own pain, to see the pain of others.

Yasmin Mogahed

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.


Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Mark Twain

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

Dalai Lama

The most powerful force in the world that can change the lives of millions of people is compassion.

Steven Aitchison

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.

Mother Theresa

True leaders always practice the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all their actions.


Great leaders have a heart for people. They take time for people. They view people as the bottom line, not as a tool to get the bottom line.

Pat Williams

I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion – and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.

Ram Dass

A Take-Home Message

As the famous Aesop saying goes, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Compassion is a powerful emotion and a thrust to positive actions.

It encompasses every single aspect of self-development, both personally and professionally. Through compassion, we can reach hearts, spread joy, and resonate positivity in each other. After all,

It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.

Mother Theresa

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Relationships Exercises for free.


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What our readers think

  1. Jacobie Jones

    Very informative, this is something all leaders should read.

  2. Emerita Professor Marilyn J Davidson

    Excellent and useful article. I was however disappointed when “ Leaders “ were commonly referred to as “he” however !

    • Lucinda Allen

      Hi Emerita, that is a great point, thank you. We will update our pronouns accordingly to be more gender-inclusive. 🙂

  3. Ashalata

    I am very much impressed by reading this. I have directly indirectly exercised all those things mentioned in this article.if one is really dedicated compationate at workplace may experience these phenomena. But of course very precise knowledge reflection I can say.thanks.

  4. Dr. B. J. Prashantham

    Dear Madhuleena Roy Chowdary,
    Very good article by you. I enjoyed reading it. Yes we need more compassion in our world. I believe and practice in my life as a counsellor tetrainer and coach. Wish you all the best. If you have written similar articles and are able to s nd, that will be appreciated. In a few days I am addressing some senior coaches and CEO level friends on nonviolent communication as the need of the hou r..


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