Beyond Empathy to Compassion

In the past 2+ years of the pandemic, leaders have wanted for nothing as much as their people’s voices to be heard, their emotions to be be an empathetic leader.

But, is it enough to be empathetic?

HBR says, “It begins with understanding the difference between empathy and compassion..It is helpful to consider the two distinct qualities of compassion: understanding what another is feeling, and the willingness to act to alleviate suffering for another. ” (Link in comments)

Compassion, unlike empathy, is not an emotion but an intention. Beyond feeling with them, taking action to support them.

How? By taking an emotional step away. Not from the person but from the problem.

May Empathy help create the connection but may we not be trapped in inaction. From giving them the comfort of being heard and acknowledged to coaching them to find their own solution, may we leverage the spark ignited by empathy to ultimately lead with Compassion.

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