Compassionate leadership

Compassionate leadership recognises that every team member is not only ‘a significant individual, but also an essential thread in the fabric of an entire organisation.

The new evidence base of compassion is indicating that when people feel cared for by others, and themselves care for others – they are more likely to feel safe. In their book ‘Awakening Compassion At Work’, Dutton and Worline state that we need to develop compassion competence – so that we are capable of noticing, interpreting, feeling and acting in effective ways when alleviating suffering in the workplace. Notably their research indicates that compassion in organisations bolsters human creativity and the capacity for innovation in two ways: 

1) By supporting an employee’s need for meaning, these organisations foster creativity and the generation of new ideas; and 

2) by creating the psychology safety that enhances learning. 

Their research confirms that managing with compassion can be learned and developed through practice.

Hear Compassion Council member Mark Crosweller speak about Ethical Leadership for Compassionate Outcomes.


One of the criticisms I’ve faced over years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough - I totally rebel against that - I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.
Jacinda Adern
Jacinda Adern
NZ Prime Minster