All “Ask Skip“ Questions that appear in this blog are actual questions submitted to me directly from blog subscribers or other inquiries that come in through the main website or via my Social Media pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to submit your own “Leadership, Teamwork or Workplace Communication”question here!
Last Friday, June 14th in my Power Word Series, I suggested “compassion” is a Power Word leaders the likes of basketball hall of fame coach Phil Jackson, and hall of fame hockey player Mark Messier, have used as a key strategy in leading others to multiple championship seasons.
A subscriber to this blog sent me a direct email in response to that blog post asking:
“This is a great article and I am going through a management situation that may require compassion. However if an employee is caught lying and is being deceptive, should compassion still be utilized? Thank You, Rich M.”
I’m certain this is a question others have asked themselves many times. And, like Rich, I know there are many other subscribers who are facing similar situations today. So, here is my answer to this very challenging leadership communication situation:
The short answer, Rich, is “YES!”
“Yes,” is the answer because being compassionate doesn’t mean that you agree with, or accept, the behavior, and that there will be no repercussions or punishment. It just means you see the other person as a human being with all the positive and negative traits we all have. It is my belief that all humans deserve compassion.
Approaching situations like this raise our level of consciousness and will also allow us as leaders to develop followers who feel trusted and will be willing to take risks. Taking risks is where all personal and professional growth comes from. Without, individuals and organizations become stagnant, and stagnancy leads to decline and death, literally and figuratively.
Here are some tips on how you can be compassionate in these type of situations:
The best way to be compassionate about this situation is to be curious. The reason curiosity is important on the path to compassion is because everything human beings do they do for a reason, and that reason ALWAYS has positive intent behind it. Human beings only do things for positive intent, no matter how destructive the behavior is.
For example, even the most destructive of all human behaviors, suicide, is done for positive intent. This is because the pain of living is so much stronger than the pain of death, and so the belief is that death will alleviate the pain.
So, get curious.
When getting curious the best way is to begin with “empathy.” Empathy is showing that you understand how another person is feeling and why.
From there understanding how a person feels and why they feel that way leads to an understanding as to why they behaved in a certain way, and its the understanding that leads to compassion.
Again, compassion doesn’t mean that you agree with or accept the behavior, nor that there will be no repercussions or punishment. It just means that you understand and care about the other individual as a human being and want to do the best thing for all concerned, instead of focusing on revenge and getting even, which is personally destructive to ourselves and not so much the perpetrator.
Does that make sense and/or help in any way?
Either way, leave a comment below and let me know so we can continue the discussion!
’til next time, make it a great week!