Recently, I came across a talk by Jeff Weiner - CEO of Linkedin who is known for his leadership style. He talks about leading with compassion and wisdom. When asked by the interviewer, if he is comfortable talking words like wisdom and compassion in a public setting and a business environment, there was a spark in his eye of the deep wisdom learned and acquired over the years working with ambitious, sometimes ruthless and other times highly compassionate people. He answered that compassion should not be seen with a roll of an eye or as a soft skill. It should rather be considered a vital skill like Math, verbal. Compassion is a way of being.
Can compassion and wisdom be taught ? How relevant are these terms in business setting ? Why is it important to lead with heart ? How can these qualities help you attract abundance,happiness and create an impact on other’s life. In this conversation, we will explore the importance of compassion in our life and how we can practice it.
Be Compassionate to Yourself
There is a saying by Dalai Lama “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Being compassionate to yourself is the first step you can take towards spreading compassion. What does it mean to be compassionate to yourself ? Compassion is loving yourself unconditionally. Emotions like anger, frustration, guilt, jealousy contracts your heart and takes you away from loving yourself. Judging yourself on being right or wrong, beating yourself up if things don’t go the way you planned, comparing yourself to others, takes you away from being compassionate to yourself. When you get into the realm of these destructive emotions and beliefs, you start seeing them in others. If you are more compassionate towards yourself, you spread compassion and it becomes a contagious chain.
Living Without Titles
Imagine getting into a conversation with a co-worker, manager or even in your personal life with your spouse, child with a belief of being superior, know it all attitude or feeling more smarter, knowledgable, experienced or accomplished. You are wearing a tall hat and whatever you say or do the tall hat gets the attention. Your words are not heard, what is heard is your voice and the superiority and the fear that comes with it. This attitude counters compassion because it is fear based way of getting things done and drifts you away from expressing compassionately or with the best intention of other’s in heart. There is a popular saying..People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Letting go of “What About Me” attitude
Have you come across a behavior when someone is hesitant sharing their skills or knowledge, always thinking about what is it for me or comparing themselves to others. If we look deep, these thoughts often arise when we start to think “What about Me? “
Though, if we serve others without focusing on how will it help us or the rewards, we tend to give unconditionally and to the best of our potential. We start attracting success, abundance, hone our skills and feel the inner contentment. Think about a time, when you helped a dear friend, spent hours training a co-worker, or helped a stranger without expecting anything in return. How did it make you feel ? What is stopping us to feel like this everyday ?
Seeing Good in Everyone
There is a saying that Everyone’s a teacher, everyone’s a student. We all have a story to tell, an experience to share and a quality to admire. When connecting to people, connect to those qualities, those stories, those experiences that have defined the person. Focus on Who the person is vs their title, education, profession or background. The qualities that we admire in others are an integral part of who we are well. That is where we make a deep connection as we can feel and live their stories. People open up to those who they trust. If people trust you, you will see their true nature, their true potential and in the process spread the message of living compassionately.
As you read this blog, some experiences, faces, thoughts may cross your mind. Pause and reflect on the thought. Think about what does compassion means to you ? How will it affect your relationships with yourself and others ?What is the smallest step you can take today to be compassionate ?