In our last video in this series on strategies to be a more compassionate leader, I talked about the importance of increasing your self-awareness, with a goal of recognizing when things aren’t right with your people.
Get to know your staff better
Continuing with that thought, in order for you to be a compassionate leader, you need to be able to tell whether a team member is struggling or off-balance. Which means you need to know who they are under normal circumstances. To do that, you have to get to know your staff better. And I mean more than just superficially, get to know who they really are – what is important to them, about their family, their pets, their hobbies, what their career goals are, what makes them happy, what frustrates them.
I know this makes some people nervous. I don’t really want to become best friends with my staff, they say. I agree. This is not about becoming BFFs, this is about understanding their situations and circumstances, and thus their motivations. If you don’t know who they are under normal circumstances, how will you know when something is off-kilter? How will you have the awareness that something might be causing stress or discomfort? A compassionate leader is one who cares about individuals, and part of that is getting to know your people better.
Here is something specific you can do to become a more compassionate leader —
Here’s an idea to deliberately accomplish this. Set aside time for a 30-minute coffee meeting where the objective is not work, it is just casual get-to-know-each-other conversation. Target having one such meeting once a month. Divide 12 months amongst your total of staff. So if you have six team members, you will meet with one a month, for a total of twice a year. If you have four staff, you will meet with each one three times a year. You get the idea! But in order for this system to work, you must schedule these, and follow through. Just having these meetings will build goodwill and move you forward on your journey to be a more compassionate leader.
This is an ongoing series that I am producing this year, and this is the third video in this series. Here are links to the first two:
- Why should you create a more compassionate workplace?
- When you improve your self-awareness, you build your compassion
I’d love to hear more about what you think, or the challenges you’re facing in this area. Please share your thoughts by adding a comment below.