Do not underestimate the bottom-line impact of compassion. The ability to show care, empathy, and compassion is a heavy component of trust.

– David Horsager (The Trust Edge)

Compassion (from Latin: “co-suffering”) is a virtue in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater human interconnectedness. The ability to show true compassion in our relationships, both personal and business, should never be underestimated. Compassion says that I care deeply about you and what you are going through.

In our modern technological world, we are often tempted to “shoot off” an e-mail or a text message, and/or to post some kind words on one of the social media sites, in an effort to show our compassion for others. But I passionately believe that true compassion is a “contact sport” – we must jump into the mire of what another person is suffering. There are no shortcuts; if we genuinely want to offer our compassion, we must take the time to be emotionally available.

Oftentimes in my career, I have faced circumstances, which were heartbreaking – divorce, the death of a significant other, financial devastation, natural disasters, and catastrophic loss. I am convinced that my genuine desire to offer my compassion to those who were suffering fundamentally mattered to them.

I have worked with and for organizations where compassion was not present in the culture, wherein men and women of poor character, who “led” these organizations did so with no compassion for the people in their companies. Unless a dramatic shift in the attitudes of these so-called leaders takes place, those organizations will never be able to attract and keep talented people and will be relegated to the ranks of mediocrity, at best. The point here is that a lack of compassion creates a lack of trust, and a lack of trust demoralizes people and organizations.

I realize that showing genuine compassion for others requires me to be emotionally available – to “be there.”  Going forward, I will make every effort to offer authentic compassion, by taking the time to show that I care deeply about what someone else is experiencing.

© John G. 2022

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