Select Page

“How can I understand my people better??”

I’ve heard this question many times over the years and in 1000s of coaching sessions. I love that leaders care enough to truly want to understand their people.

One way to understand others is to be compassionate. What is compassion? Compassion is defined as “deep awareness of the suffering of another”. As a leader, the more you understand the sufferings of another person, the more it’ll help you to build your compassion muscles.

Suffering to you may look different than it does to another person. Likewise, what you consider suffering may not be something hard for another person. Truly understanding about the suffering of the people that work for you is having an awareness of their suffering with a spouse, or child, or elderly parent. It could be about their physical health, or mental health concerns. Any of those things are going to impact your people and their ability to perform at work.

Leaders need to understand about what’s going on with their people – what they are suffering from. With that understanding, you can make adjustments accordingly which will help you to have a more collaborative workplace because you will deepen your compassion.

In order to connect with and understand your people, it’s important to slow down and have private 1:1 conversations with your people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve coached leaders on how to have more effective 1:1 Meetings and then watched them have incredible changes in their teams.

To help you develop this powerful leadership skill of having effective 1:1 Meetings, in the Call for Compassion book, there are examples of how to have effective 1:1 Meetings, as well as bonus resources to help you with your 1:1 Meetings.

While in 1:1 Meetings, do not assume that you “know” the suffering of another person. Refrain from saying things like:

  • I know how you must feel.
  • I can totally relate.
  • If you think that’s bad, let me tell you a story…

Instead, say things like this in your 1:1 Meetings:

  • That sounds really tough. Can you tell me more about that?
  • I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. How are you feeling about (situation) right now?
  • Don’t say anything at all. The power of a pause is very strong in these deep conversations.

Compassion is defined as “deep awareness of the suffering of another”. As a leader, the more you understand the sufferings of the people that you work with, the more collaboration you’ll have in your team. This will all help you to understand your people better. And help them to understand you too.

Get your copy of Call for Compassion: Building Compassionate Leaders for Collaborative Workplaces on Amazon.

Ready to level up as a leader and make a difference for your career and your team? Contact us today to discuss options for coaching and training so you can become the leader everyone wants to work for.