The gift of compassion



Today, we look at the third of The 10 Greatest Gifts principles outlined by Steven W. Vannoy in his 1994 book.  You will recall that we examined “self-esteem” the last time.  These principles also apply very well to adults working in the business world and can help us work better with others and understand, for ourselves, how we can be most productive and effective in every walk of life.

What is the gift of compassion Vannoy discusses?  Vannoy defines it like this:

“…being compassionate means coming from a special place in your heart and mind, appreciating and valuing everything and everyone’s place in the grand scheme of life. I know that’s difficult some days, so be compassionate with yourself, too, and acknowledge yourself for doing as well as you are.”

In his book, Vannoy talks about teaching our children that everyone has value and that they need to extend grace (that is, a forgiving hand) to others. And, they need to give themselves a break in the process.  I think the key point here is that if we are unwilling to extend compassion to ourselves, it is doubly difficult to be compassionate with others.

Why is compassion so important in today’s world, especially the business world? I think there are several key points here:


  1. Compassion leads to kindness and kindness generally is an outgrowth of integrity
  2. Integrity is critical to business relationship and business success
  3. Compassion helps leaders get the very best results from their teams
  4. Compassion gives you a fresh perspective that you might not have otherwise


Who of us has not experienced or needed compassion from someone else? And, when your leader extends compassion to you, don’t you feel even more committed to doing your best?  Growing a sense of compassion does not mean you are soft on accountability.  It simply means that you are able to “walk a mile in the other individual’s shoes” and that you try to see things from the perspective of others.  You must still demand performance and accountability, but doing so with understanding.  As a leader, showing compassion shows you care.  And, when you care, your integrity grows.  You have heard it here many times… 

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Demonstrating compassion will help you be happier and more successful in every aspect of your life…. Guaranteed! Have a terrific day!



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