The Gift of Compassion

Now that we’re in the holiday season, you’ll notice joy along with the end-of-year stress. It’s a good idea to practice compassion with your team members to gain insight into what makes them tick. We all have a desire for people to “get us”. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of compassion at work.

What Does it Mean?

Compassion is the emotional response when we see others suffering that results in an authentic desire to help them. It is a natural response that has ensured our survival over centuries and certainly has a place in today’s sometimes chaotic workplace. 

Benefits of Compassion in the Workplace

  1. Step towards rather than away from emotions: When an employee is showing emotion, use it as an opportunity to engage. You’ll show you care and discover information to better understand them.

  2. Strength as a leader: Showing genuine concern for your team is compassion at work. Not being afraid of emotions shows strength and integrity and models the same for others. 

  3. Increased productivity: A University of Michigan study examines how positive interactions (like compassion) improves performance and loyalty, while creating a collaborative, safe atmosphere.

  4. Buffer against stress: Research shows that depression and anxiety are linked to self-focus, a preoccupation with “me, myself, and I.” Do something for someone else and you’ll shift to a state of other focus. 


Unbeknownst to many, the term “survival of the fittest,” was actually coined by Herbert Spencer, not Charles Darwin. In fact, Darwin’s work is best described with the phrase “survival of the kindest.” Darwin argued that “communities, which included the greatest number of sympathetic members flourish best.” Therefore, connecting with others in a meaningful way contributes to better mental and physical health, speeds up recovery from disease and can even lengthen our life spans.

Can you see how showing compassion with your team will benefit them and your relationships? When you’re ready to take steps to improve compassion in your organization, reach out to me. I’ve helped many leaders understand the value of this important concept.