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Inspiring Leadership Story: 4 Tips for Becoming a Compassionate Leader

Compassionate Leader. Leader Story

Leadership Story to Inspire

If you ask people what kind of things they want in a leader – a compassionate leader would be at the top of the list for most. In this day and age we need more compassionate and thoughtful leaders like the following story.

As Gandhi stepped aboard a train one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train started rolling. To the amazement of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first shoe. Asked by a fellow passenger why he did that, Gandhi replied, “the poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will now have a pair he can use.”

Here are four factors to keep in mind for leaders as they move towards more compassionate leadership.

1. Understand. Too often leaders jump to judgment. We often create stories of others that are absent of compassion and understanding. Things aren’t always as they appear. See the following leadership story as a great example.

Instead of jumping to conclusions, ask questions and truly seek to understand first.

2. Appreciate. Telling those you lead what you appreciate about them demonstrates to them that you care. When people feel you appreciate what they do, they feel you are on their side cheering for them – hoping they succeed.

It doesn’t take much time to find a few small things you appreciate about someone. Warren Buffet (who is a great appreciator of people) believed that if you praised and appreciated people for the little things, they would give you bigger things to praise and appreciate later on.

It doesn't take much time to find a few small things you appreciate about someone. ~Michael RogersClick To Tweet

3. Trust. Most people don’t like to be micro-managed. By extending trust to those we lead, we are leading with compassion.

Extending trust doesn’t mean there won’t be mistakes and mess ups, but compassionate leaders understand this. Instead of becoming frustrated and withdrawing trust, compassionate leaders teach, guide and continue to trust. Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.”

4. Listen. I heard it once said that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. It is natural for most of us to want to fix the problem and believe we have the solution before someone finishes telling us what the problem is.

Compassionate leaders listen carefully. They are patient and realize that sometimes there isn’t a solution, people just want to talk or to be heard. Check out this hilarious video in the following post: “Really, How Well Do You Listen Leader? Hilarious Communication Video!”

Which of these four will you try to do better with?

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