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Friday, December 17, 2010

Resonant Leaderhip: Post # 6- Compassion

Compassion: The authors have a great definition for compassion—empathy in action. They make the distinction between compassion and sympathy: Compassion is a positive action. They use the compelling example of Lechesa Tsenoli, who was a prisoner in South Africa during apartheid. He reached out in compassion to his own jailers, one in particular. By seeing him as a person and talking about their families, Tsenoli changed the way he was treated. But the compassion started with his changing his view of his own captors. And the simple technique to start this process of compassion toward others is simply by listening to them. The authors offer three components of compassion: 1) empathy for others; 2) caring for others; and, 3) a willingness to act on those feelings. The authors talk about creating a culture of compassion and use an example of a vision statement from Summa Healthcare Systems that is as good a one as I have ever read (p. 189-90). A final section that I particularly liked was how to become a more resonant executive coach—my chosen field. And I think this section might well become a guidebook for internal coaches and mentors alike.

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