Chain Reaction Foundation

7 Traits Needed for Compassionate Leadership - How do you score?

by Margaret Bell | November 13, 2018

Compassion - and a sense of empathy and responsibility are the ingredients for a functioning society. This is true for all members of our human community, on a macro global level as well as a micro level within our own social groups and family units.

As such good leaders are compassionate, thus requiring a requisite level of social and emotional intelligence to be truly resonant and inspirational to the teams they work with. 

In March 2018, Sherrie Campbell published her thoughts on compassionate leadership in Entrepreneur. The psychologist, author, and public speaker described seven traits common to compassionate leaders and demonstrated why such traits are so important for ongoing, effective leadership.

Campbell's article provides excellent food for thought. It gives leaders a handy checklist against which to measure their own leadership style. While concepts such as warmth and compassion are qualitative rather than quantitative, and so 'measurement' in this way can be tricky, it is always helpful to be able to access a set of guidelines and best practices which offer a way to become a better leader.

 The traits that Sherrie Campbell outlined in her article are as follows:

  • An ongoing learning process: Compassionate leaders understand that they do not have all the answers. They are committed to a continuous learning process as they grow and develop.
  • Accessibility and equality: There should be no barriers between the leader and their team. Instead, leaders must immerse themselves in tasks and demonstrate a collaborative attitude to problem solving.
  • Consideration of needs: Think about what the members of your teams need rather than about where they are falling short. 
  • A keen sense of ethics: A compassionate leader must have a well-defined code of ethics and hold themselves to even higher ethical standards than those they apply to their own teams.
  • A focus on influence, not authority: This is key to the idea of a resonant style of leadership rather than a dissonant one. Be influential and inspirational rather than trying to stamp your authority on your team.
  • Passionate outlook: You need to truly love what you do and you need to truly care about the direction in which you are moving. If you don't have the passion, you cannot expect your team to have the passion either.
  • Support and guidance: Show your team that you are there for them. Show your team that you are on their side, no matter what, and be an inspirational leader.

Think about these seven points whenever you can and aim to incorporate them into your own leadership style. The results you and your team achieve might just astound you.

Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.

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