Taking Charge With Compassion for Proven Business Results Now and After the Crisis
By Evan Harrel Chief Operating Officer, Center for Compassionate Leadership | May 03, 2020
This article was co-authored by Laura Berland, Founder & Executive Director, Center for Compassionate Leadership
Our economy is going through the most disruptive event since the World Wars and the Great Depression. How will you lead through this unprecedented human and business crisis? What are the proven approaches that can deliver positive outcomes for your company, your team, your customers, and yourself?
The results of executive leadership decisions in the face of adversity have been researched extensively. We can learn from these best practices to minimize adversity and maximize the upside once restrictions are lifted.
It is challenging in this extremely difficult operating environment to stay steady and plan for a horizon beyond just a few days or a few weeks. Doing so, however, will pay healthy dividends down the road. The actions you take today will have long lasting impacts. Studies of airlines after 9/11, when airlines had to downsize following the devastating contraction in air travel, showed that not all brands bounced back with the same resilience. Research on the performance differential was found to be most strongly correlated with organizational culture. Studies of over thirty companies in different economic contractions show similar results – compassionate business practices within compassionate cultures have powerful positive impacts on company results when things turn back around.
Engage in these three evidence-based best practices of compassionate leadership now to position your organization to respond strongly when restrictions finally ease:
- Build your own foundation of resilience, your personal position of strength.
- Treat your employees with compassion and respect.
- Communicate extensively, transparently, and involve your team as much as possible in decision making processes.
Start With Yourself
These are stressful times, and the normal stress of leadership has been amplified significantly. Besides taking a toll on your own health, unaddressed stress will flow outward to your team. Especially when work demands increase, it is important to find time to practice your favorite stress busting activity, whether it's exercise, meditation, being in nature, etc. Maintaining a healthy diet, as well, is more important at this time. Do whatever it is that you need to do to ensure self-care and self-compassion as stress and uncertainty continue showing up.
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