Written by: Amy Lynn Durham, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Job satisfaction is 35% higher under wise leaders, 34% higher under compassionate leaders and 85% higher under leaders who are BOTH wise and compassionate. Burnout is 25% lower under wise leaders, 22% lower under compassionate leaders, and 64% lower under leaders who are BOTH wise and compassionate. (From the Association for Talent Development and Harvard Business Review). This is great news! Now, more than ever, clients and organizations are stepping up and asking for actionable ways to ensure that they are wise and compassionate leaders. Can you become a leader who leads with wisdom and compassion?
A wise leader is self-aware, empowers others, and makes decisions for the good of all. A compassionate leader is sensitive to the emotional aspects and possible suffering of others. This is what is going to differentiate you and your organization as leaders. You get to have both! You get to have humanity, and you get to have those feel-good feelings within yourself and within your teams, while being even more profitable and productive. Here are some suggestions to practice being a wise and compassionate leader.
1. Release Control
Start by recognizing that others may take a different journey to get to the same result(s). More and more leaders are placing higher levels of trust in their teams than they have in the past. Leaders are required to relinquish control a great deal more because the pace of business and technology moves so fast. Often, we have to trust the people on our team to make the right decisions without us. There isn’t time to micromanage every step a team member takes or control all of the decisions. Take a moment to reflect on how you operate at work. Are there one or two things that you might be overly controlling? For example, are you stepping in to do someone else's work because you think that you can just get it done faster? Or, are you empowering your team to find their own way which opens up space for innovation and creativity?
2. Set Proper Boundaries
The ability to set proper boundaries is a capstone skill when it comes to being a wise and compassionate leader. Boundaries are setting limits in order to teach others how to treat us. Can you set boundaries and limits for yourself and be an example for others in doing so? For example, you're a leader of a team, and you're stepping in and trying to control exactly how everyone does something (See Tip 1). Maybe you're taking on work that others should be doing because you're afraid it's not going to get done correctly. Perhaps you are that empathetic ear in the workplace, and you find yourself feeling depleted and exhausted by listening to everyone vent to you. It's time to place some limits and boundaries into your leadership. Take a moment to reflect on what you actually need to complete your work. Make a list of at least three things that you need in order to do your job well. For example, a private client was working on an extremely important project. Senior leadership had entrusted her with completing this project and completing it well. In a coaching session, she expressed she was feeling overwhelmed, and she felt anxious that she may not succeed in the task that was assigned. She said, “You know, I have so many meetings about this project that I can't get the project done.” At that point, we really dove into what she truly needed to succeed. With some clarity and coaching, she discovered her needs and the boundaries she needed to set. She needed 1) fewer meetings, 2) time on the treadmill every night for her creativity to flow, and 3) space in her schedule to get the work done. During the next meeting with senior leadership she expressed these needs, and it opened up space and a path to get this project done successfully. This is a great example of obtaining clarity on what is required in order to be an amazing leader with high productivity and low burnout by setting up some boundaries for yourself.
3. Elevate Your Decision Making
Consider the feelings of everyone affected by a decision. As you're making the decision, make a conscious effort to put your Ego aside ‒ that place that comes from fear, judgment, scarcity, and protection. Try to access your Higher Self or your inner sage ‒ the place within you that comes from wisdom, compassion, and love. Consider and visualize the impact on everyone affected by your decision. Try this practice every day, even with what may seem the smallest decision, and watch as your teams and your business transforms for the better.
Bonus Approach: Get Support
If you are already a successful leader who wants to elevate your skills in being wise and compassionate, reach out to me. Create Magic At Work® offers group workshops, 1:1 private coaching programs and leadership products to help you and your teams explore these integral leadership skills. You CAN become a leader who is truly wise and compassionate and help decrease burnout. Schedule a coffee chat with me here.
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Amy Lynn Durham, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Amy Lynn Durham is the Founder of Create Magic At Work, where she uses her knowledge as an Executive Coach and a certified Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) Coach to uniquely blend spirituality & business to help leaders, increase courage, confidence, and productivity, & decrease stress.