Upgrade empathy to compassion

Upgrade empathy to compassion

Blogs and Stories

Upgrade empathy to compassion

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We hear a lot about empathy being an essential quality for good leadership, right? It is a nice sentiment that a leader can put themselves in another’s shoes and see the world or an issue from their perspective, right? But is that enough?

Let’s start with the basics – what is empathy? Empathy is our feeling of awareness toward other people’s emotions and an attempt to understand how they feel.

It doesn’t mean that, even if you can put yourself in that other person’s shoes, you are going to do anything about it.

For example, I could see someone being humiliated by their boss and I could imagine how that might make them feel ie I might empathise with their situation. Is that where my responsibility ends or is there something more?

Of course, there is more if I am not just going to be another bystander – I need to want to help.

That is where compassion is a step up from empathy. Compassion is an emotional response to empathy or sympathy and creates a desire to help.  I empathise with the person and their situation and then I take action to help.

Compassionate leaders not only understand the emotions of their people but actively listen to them and seek solutions to support them and to  alleviate their struggles.

On the other hand, empathy alone may fall short in driving tangible change. Leaders who solely rely on empathy might find themselves navigating the emotional complexities of their team without necessarily addressing underlying issues.

While empathy creates a connection, compassion propels leaders to make a meaningful impact. Effective leadership requires a delicate balance between understanding the emotions of others and taking decisive actions to enhance the collective well-being. Leaders who blend empathy with compassion create an environment that values both emotional understanding and proactive problem-solving, both key components of psychologically safe workplaces.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you to learn about compassionate leadership? Call us on 1300 108 488 or email info@poswork.com.au.

 

 

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

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Reflections on the Strength of Love

Reflections on the Strength of Love

Blogs and Stories

Reflections on the Strength of Love

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Love is one of the three character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Humanity.

Humanity describes strengths that manifest in caring relationships with others. These strengths are interpersonal and are mostly relevant in one-on-one relationships.

What is love?

Love as a character strength, rather than as an emotion, refers to the degree to which you value close relationships with people, and contribute to that closeness in a warm and genuine way. 

Where kindness can be a behavioural pattern applied in any relationship, love as a character strength really refers to the way you approach your closest and warmest relationships. 

Love is reciprocal, referring to both loving others and the willingness to accept love from others. 

There are four types of love, each with a biological and evolutionary base:

  • Attachment love: parent for child; child for parent
  • Compassionate/altruistic love: kindness
  • Companionate love: friendship
  • Romantic love: spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend

Why is love of value?

  • Love tends to facilitate tolerance, empathy and forgiveness in relationships which contribute to the health and longevity of those relationships.
  • Loving and secure relationships can provide a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
  • Love is associated with healthy patterns of communication such as compromise and the ability to engage effectively in conflict with others.

A couple of questions to consider

  • What are the ways in which you express love to others and how is it received?
  • How well do you receive love? It is often harder to give than to receive but good relationships are a two-way street. Do signs of love make you uncomfortable or afraid of what others may expect from you

Some things that you can do to practise love

  • Journal about loving relationships in general, reflecting on what is most valued in a healthy, loving relationship. Put one of your insights into action.
  • Carve out some time each week to experience uninterrupted quality time in your closest relationship.
  • Go out of your way to offer support to co-workers when you see they are stressed or having a bad day. Give them the gift of supportive words and your honest concern. 

For more information on the strength of hope, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/love

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

LET'S HAVE A CHAT

Perspectives on the Strength of Fairness

Perspectives on the Strength of Fairness

Blogs and Stories

Perspectives on the Strength of Fairness

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Fairness is one of the three character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Justice.

Justice describes strengths that help you connect in community or group-based situations.

What is fairness?

Fairness is treating people justly, not letting your personal feelings bias your decisions about others. You want to give everyone a fair chance, and believe there should be equal opportunity for all, though you also realize that what is fair for one person might not be fair for another.

Fairness is a cognitive judgment capacity that involves reasoning and making judgments. It involves 2 types of reasoning:

  • Justice reasoning which emphasizes logic and weighing principles to determine moral rights and responsibilities.
  • Care reasoning which includes empathy and compassion; the ability to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.

When you are at your best, you use fairness to actively work to establish equity and respect for all.

Why is fairness of value?

  • Fair-minded individuals are more likely to engage in positive, prosocial behaviours and less likely to engage in illegal and immoral behaviours.
  • A sensitivity to issues of morality and justice increases self-reflection and self-knowledge.
  • Having a good moral compass enables you to navigate conflictual situations more effectively.

A couple of questions to consider

  • What are the circumstances in which it is easier or harder for you to compromise to try to achieve a fair outcome for everyone?
  • How do you reconcile your sense of fairness with the reality that “life is not fair”?

Some things that you can do to practise fairness

  • Consider ways to be fairer with friends or family such as thinking about the amount of quality time you spend with each person and making adjustments accordingly. 
  • Include someone in a conversation who is as newcomer or typically excluded from groups.
  • Be fair to yourself by examining the amount of time you spend on your own health and self-care versus time spent on helping others. Take action based on what is fair for both you and others.

For more information on the strength of fairness, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/fairness

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

LET'S HAVE A CHAT

Pondering the Strength of Spirituality

Pondering the Strength of Spirituality

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Pondering the Strength of Spirituality

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Spirituality is one of the five character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Transcendence.

Transcendence describes strengths that help you connect to the larger universe and provide meaning.

What is spirituality?

As a character strength, spirituality involves the belief that there is a dimension to life that is beyond human understanding. Some people don’t connect this belief with the concept of a divinity and prefer to think of it in terms of a sense of meaning rather than spirituality, but in the VIA Classification the terms are considered closely related. 

Spirituality is believed to describe both the private, intimate relationship between humans and the divine, and the range of virtues that result from the relationships. Spirituality is universal. 

Although the specific content of spiritual beliefs varies, all cultures have a concept of an ultimate, transcendent, sacred force.

Some of these include meaning, purpose, life calling, beliefs about the universe, the expression of virtue/goodness, and practices that connect with the transcendent. Some of these include meaning, purpose, life calling, beliefs about the universe, the expression of virtue/goodness, and practices that connect with the transcendent. 

Why is spirituality of value?

  • Spirituality, through the expression of religiousness or sense of meaning, provides a sense of being grounded, increases optimism and helps to provide a sense of purpose in life.
  • People who are spiritual often experience benefits in their physical and psychological health and are resilient in the face of challenges.
  • Spirituality is connected to compassion, altruism, volunteering and philanthropy.

A couple of questions to consider

  • How do you define spirituality for yourself?
  • How does spirituality affect your relationships with others?

Some things that you can do to practise spirituality

  • Think of a spiritual role model in your community. Even if there are important differences between their beliefs and yours, consider their best qualities and one way that you might learn from them.
  • Find meaning at work – consider what matters most in the work that you do and the impact it has upon others. Pause to appreciate this.
  • Pause to connect with your inner spirit. Return to this solitude that resides within throughout the day. Breathe deeply and be at peace with yourself. 

For more information on the strength of hope, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character…/spirituality

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

LET'S HAVE A CHAT

Unpacking the Strength of Teamwork

Unpacking the Strength of Teamwork

Blogs and Stories

Unpacking the Strength of Teamwork

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Teamwork is one of the three character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Justice.

Justice describes strengths that help you connect in community or group-based situations.

What is teamwork?

Teamwork means that in team situations you are committed to contributing to the team’s success. The team could be a work group or a sports team, but it could also refer to your family, marriage, or even a group of friends working on a project together. 

Teamwork extends to being a good citizen of your community or country, and more broadly to a sense of social responsibility for particular groups of people or even all of humanity. In other words, the person high in teamwork applies a certain way of acting in whatever context they consider themselves committed to the good of the group as a whole. 

Most commonly, however, this strength refers to you being a dedicated, reliable, and contributing member to your small group or team. 

Teamwork is closely related to 3 other concepts:

  • Citizenship: responsibility toward one’s community
  • Loyalty: unwavering trust for a group
  • Patriotism: loyalty toward one’s homeland/nation without hostility toward other nations

Why is teamwork of value?

  • Teamwork fosters a sense of connectedness and enhances meaning through shared purpose.
  • Those high in teamwork elicit and experience a higher level of social trust and have a more positive view of others.
  • Teamwork is one of the strengths most associated with sustainable behaviour ie behaviour that aims to protect the social and physical environment. 

A couple of questions to consider

  • What is most gratifying to you about being part of a team?
  • What is most challenging to you about being part of a team?

Some things that you can do to practise teamwork

  • Savour a positive team interaction from the past by replaying it in your mind and then sharing it at a team meeting. 
  • Volunteer for a community project or a good social cause in the area where you live or work.
  • The next time someone close to you conveys that they are having a problem, ask if the two of you can approach the problem together as a team and work through it with them to find a solution. 

For more information on the strength of teamwork, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/teamwork

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

LET'S HAVE A CHAT

Thinking about the Strength of Gratitude

Thinking about the Strength of Gratitude

Blogs and Stories

Thinking about the Strength of Gratitude

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Gratitude is one of the five character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Transcendence.

Transcendence describes strengths that help you connect to the larger universe and provide meaning.

What is gratitude?

The character strength of gratitude involves feeling and expressing a deep sense of thankfulness in life, and more specifically, taking the time to genuinely express thankfulness to others. 

We can be grateful for deliberate acts by others, such as a piece of art from a child, or for spontaneous treasures, such as a cool breeze on your face on a hot day. What marks gratitude is the psychological response: the transcendent feeling of thankfulness, the sense of having been given a gift by that person or event. 

There are two types of gratitude:

  • Benefit-triggered gratitude = the state that follows when a desired benefit is received from a benefactor.
  • Generalized gratitude = the state resulting from awareness and appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to yourself. There are two stages of gratitude:
    • Acknowledging the goodness in your life.
    • Recognizing the source of this goodness is outside yourself.

Why is gratitude of value?

  • Grateful people experience a variety of positive emotions, and those emotions inspire them to act in more virtuous ways – humbler, more persistent, or kinder.
  • Gratitude has spiritual benefits such as a feeling of interconnectedness with life, a general sense of responsibility toward others and reduced emphasis on material goods.
  • Gratitude activities have been widely successful in boosting wellbeing and managing depression.

A couple of questions to consider

  • What is most rewarding to you about expressing gratitude?
  • What concerns do you have, if any, in expressing gratitude to certain people?

Some things that you can do to practise gratitude

  • Download the ShareTree app (https://sharetree.org) and express gratitude to someone by sending them a leaf or record something or someone you are grateful for in the gratitude journal.
  • Make a point of going out of your way at work to express thanks to someone who is not typically recognised, explaining why you are grateful to them. Then observe their reaction.
  • Select one small aspect of yourself that you have taken for granted. Bring your mindful awareness to it and feel the emotion of gratitude for this part of yourself. 

For more information on the strength of gratitude, go to https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/gratitude

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at info@poswork.com.au.

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

LET'S HAVE A CHAT