Compassion in the Workplace 

 April 3, 2017

By  fouts

Workplaces stress is quite literally a killer of productivity as well as health. Bringing compassion into the mix can lift spirits and bring a sense of oneness that may not have existed before. Even if the team isn’t ready for it, showing compassion in the workplace sets a tone that they will gravitate to because it feels right. In a compassionate work environment is less prone to burnout

This post gives you some ways to practice compassion in the workplace and offers ways to care for yourself and others in a way that lifts us all up.

Compassion for others
The goal of compassion is to be aware and present with what is happening without trying to fix it or absorb the pain for the person experiencing it.

For example, a co-worker just missed getting a promotion, has an ill family member, or a bad performance review. We can’t fix it, but we can recognize their pain and frustration. Simply offering a kind word or a hug lets them know you feel for them and you are there for emotional support.

Taking a moment to help a new hire with navigating the hallways to a meeting. Pouring a second cup of coffee when someone joins you for a meeting. Picking up a dropped item, offering a hand when someone stumbles. All of these are small, yet ultimately significant acts we can choose to do -or not to do- all day.

Compassion in conflict
While in a conflict situation it can be difficult to offer compassion in the moment. Instead, it may be better served to consider how you could be better prepared next time. For example; You had a bad meeting with a co-worker. In the heat of the moment, you both got angry and said things you didn’t really mean to say. Afterward, you feel bad about it and you want to repair the damage.

Take a couple of deep cleansing breaths and get settled in a calm mental state. Revisit what happened and think about how you could have handled this more compassionately. Even if they were wrong and you were right, was there a better way? What really set you off? Something someone else said, or an email from your boss that put you on edge in the first place?

This kind of practice helps immensely in developing the “muscle” of compassion. Now, the next time you meet with this person bring your compassionate heart and a calmer mindset prepared to have a calmer, kinder conversation.

This work on compassion for self and others is truly crucial in today’s work environment- both for the health of ourselves and our teams. If you’ve got questions, schedule some time with me to talk!

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