Compassion: A Key to Accelerating True Leadership Results

How to Improve Recognition, Feedback, Collaboration, and Inclusion

Compassion is key for anyone who wants to be a people-first leader. And Compassion is one of the five skills that make every leader better (Compassion, Curiosity, Communication, Vision, and Resilience).

You can be a get-stuff-done person, and still have empathy for those on your team. In fact, a people-first orientation will get you better results in the long term — when your employees trust that you care about them as people, they will work hard to be deserving of that trust.

Some people are natural people “savants,” remembering important details of every person they meet, and making everyone around them feel special, important, and included. If you are one of these folks, count yourself as very fortunate, indeed. If you’re like the rest of us, the great news is that you can develop compassion and awareness of others.

Compassion accelerates results in 4 key leadership activities:

  1. Recognition
  2. Feedback
  3. Collaboration
  4. Inclusion


Compassion is key for authentic recognition. When a team member does a job well, it shouldn’t just be assumed to be a part of their daily work — give credit, express gratitude, and recognize successes. Be specific, focus on your employee, and speak from your heart, and it’ll be easy to reinforce the behaviors and results you want to see (and you’ll see more of them!).


Compassion is also important for giving feedback, especially negative feedback. Addressing issues head-on and letting your employees know there’s a problem is much more compassionate than letting them think that everything is just fine and waiting until their performance review to bring up something negative. And when you need to give negative feedback, do so privately whenever possible.


Compassion feeds collaboration. An open and inviting environment allows people to work together more easily and smoothly. They’ll feel more confident in offering opinions and taking risks, which will lead to more innovation over time.


Compassion sets the stage for inclusiveness. When every person on the team feels heard and valued, inclusion is a natural outcome. And when you include every member of your team, you’ll be more likely to have higher productivity.

Lack of compassion is one of the reasons that narcissists make terrible leaders; they simply don’t care about people on their team as individuals, and view them as interchangeable, disposable parts. Don’t be a narcissist. Use Compassion to accelerate your leadership results!

What’s the best way a leader has demonstrated Compassion? Tell us in the comments below!

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