Julian’s Business Tips: Compassionate Leadership

Julian’s Business Tips: Compassionate Leadership

It’s been interesting watching how different leaders have managed the Coronavirus crisis.

Managing emergencies is often based around ‘The 3 Cs’: command, control and co-ordination, along with clear structures and guidance.

However, this can result in a bossy style of leadership, overly directing those individuals who need to be engaged.

I recently read an article on NHS leadership, which suggested that connection and compassion should be at the heart of the organisation – helping staff and patients deal with what feels frightening and overwhelming.

I suggest that leaders in any business could well do the same. Yes, we must have agreed objectives, but why not focus on meeting the core needs of your staff, keeping them healthy and motivated to deal with whatever is coming next?

Try to understand the challenges they face, empathise with them, feel their fears, stresses and anxieties. To help, here is the ‘ABC’ of core human needs at work:

A. is for Autonomy. People instinctively want to have control and not feel forced. They need to be trusted to make the best decisions they can. One key role of leaders is to provide the resources to meet these needs and clear away obstacles.

B. is for Belonging. The need to belong is strong. Not only must leaders ensure a positive, supportive climate but also encourage sustained team-working where everyone is clear about each other’s roles.

C. is for Competence. All of us like to deliver high-quality work. Leaders need to be able to create the conditions and build the relationships to allow their staff to do their best work.

Once objectives are agreed, resist the temptation to tell your staff how to do their job! Instead, ask them what they need from you in order to achieve success, and then give it to them! It’s as easy as ABC!