WATCH: How to Keep your Best People with Compassionate Leadership (E2)

This is the next video in the series about “The Five C’s of Post-Pandemic Management”.

Compassionate Leadership

And this C is about ‘Compassionate Leadership’. And compassionate leadership is really all about being able to have empathy and compassion with people but empathy in action. It’s about not tolerating underperformance and it’s about being able to hold people to account, yet doing it with care and because you’re dedicated to them and their success. 


Now, a lot of it has to do with ‘Self Awareness’ and it’s really important that you’re also aware of your own triggers, of your own emotional foibles, of your own biases. Because it’s only by being aware of what triggers you that you can also have compassion for others when they’re triggered. And that you can support them and help them shift their mindset and their behaviours to be high performing.

Now, a lot of people have this thing about compassionate leadership, it’s all a bit ‘wishy washy’ or ‘nambi pamby’. And they’re just ‘Myths’. It’s far from it. It’s actually quite robust. Because it’s about balancing the ‘Reality’ of compassionate leadership is about balancing a number of paradoxes. Things that may seem opposing to one another but are in fact when they come together are exceptionally powerful. 

Empathic Accountability

For example, ‘Empathic Accountability’, having empathy and understanding of your people but also holding them to account and not letting them underperform. Not letting them get away with it. Saying like, this is really important that you do this because you need to be great, you need to be your best self, at work performing at the best you can. While understanding that there may be things that are troubling them. 

Confident Insightful Curiosity

And it’s about ‘Confident Insightful Curiosity’ and that’s about being able to express your opinions confidently but being relentlessly curious about the truth rather than being right. And also being curious about what your people think and what they’re feeling about what they want at work.

 Equity Mindset

Then, there’s an ‘Equity Mindset’ which is about balancing, being able to say what you need from them but also what do they need from you. And how can you find a way of having a sustainable relationship.

Respectful Candor

And finally, it’s about ‘Respectful Candor’ which is about being direct with people as well as being really diplomatic and tactful.
So, when it comes to Compassionate Leadership, stay curious!


With best regards,


David Klaasen


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©David Klaasen – 2014