There is a lot of talk about compassionate leadership. What does it actually mean?
- Start with listening.
- Be empathetic, kind, humble and human.
- Ask people what they need.
- Be curious and don’t assume you need to have all the answers. Seek diversity of people and opinions to help find the solutions.
- Help people be the best they can be.
- Understand what is important.
Mostly it’s about being part of a team connecting, contributing and collaborating rather than command and control. People connect with people they trust. Create a world for today and tomorrow not the past.
People can be more receptive in times of crisis. When things are going ‘smoothly’ there is little incentive to change. In our time of turbulence we can think more boldly and move away from old practices and cultures, hierarchies and divisive behaviours. Shape the world we want to see.
A word about gender. As women we have our own strengths. We need to talk about what it means to be powerful as a woman. It is not about ‘being like a man’ or gaining status before having an opinion. Celebrate the difference we have rather than all try to be the same. That’s diversity.
In the world of safety we can see the new thinking but are grappling with what that looks like in practice. Gender balance as well as dealing with diversity is an important part of the solution. The conversations and collective thinking will help in our ability to cope with our increasingly complex systems. People simply working and taking the steps together towards a shared purpose.