Merge's Blog

Compassionate leadership means being available to your staff

Today’s post is Strategy #7 in our ongoing video tip series on demonstrating compassionate leadership.  The strategy is to make it easy for your employees to reach out to you.

Make it easy for your employees to reach out to you

Now when I say make it easy, I actually mean it in two ways – physically and emotionally.  Let me explain both.

First, physical.  Have what is often referred to as an open-door policy.  Now if you, your staff and your colleagues work in an office environment, then open-door is exactly what it sounds like – an open door that encourages your people to come in and talk to you.  But what if you and your team work virtually, at least some of the time?  Open-door in the context means that you need to make yourself available for conversations and ad hoc discussions.  Either before or after meetings, or at a set time weekly, or something else.  Compassionate leadership means that you are available to your staff.

You also want to make it emotionally easy for your people to reach out to you.  When your staff come to talk to you, do not shoot the messenger.  Let me explain.  Sometimes, the news you will hear in a conversation may be distressing or frustrating.  And our natural instinct is to react negatively to the person who gave us the information.  This is called shooting the messenger.  Make it so that your employees can trust that they can talk to you without getting the brunt of your anger or frustration.  Remember Strategy #6 – slow down and pause before you verbally express your annoyance or irritation?  Yes, that one!  Remember it.  If you slow down and pause, you WON’T shoot the messenger.

So make it easy for employees to reach out to you, both physically and emotionally, and you will be a fantastic example of compassionate leadership.

What have been your experiences in this regard?  Please share your perspective by adding a comment below.

You can also access previous tips in this video series:

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