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April 23, 2019

Be A Compassionate Leader Of The Pack

Be A Compassionate Leader Of The Pack

What we are doing is not working.

Despite the surge in positive attitudes towards well being initiatives UK average output is an estimated 16% below the worlds other advanced economies!

The national LFS report for 2017/18 reported that stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders add up to 15.4 million lost work days and 6.6 million lost work days respectively.

To create a shift in workplace well being leaders need to be coached in ‘Compassionate Leadership’.

That means undoing the Lone Wolf approach, it’s not about the leader it’s about how compassionate the leader is to their work force.

In essence Compassionate Leadership is caring.

Caring involves emotions. A leader needs to be aware of their emotions and learn howto listen to others so that they can support a change in the development of their worker’s emotions.

That is how we kick start the change.


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How do we know that it will work?

In 2016 Roffey Park published a report into the benefits of “Compassionate Leadership” within the workplace. The Compassionate Leadership model is broken down as:

Being alive to the suffering of others: Being sensitive to the well being of others and noticing any change in their behaviour.This may be a result of stress, unhappiness or overwhelm.

Being non judgemental: A Compassionate Leader does not judge the sufferer and accepts and validates the persons experience. The Compassionate Leader recognises that the experience of the single individual is part of the wider human experience.

Tolerating personal distress: The Compassionate Leader has empathy to suffering of another and develops a meaningful for the welfare.

Being empathetic: The Compassionate Leader understand the others pain and recognises it as part of their own personally felt experience. The Compassionate Leader speaks and communicates with empathy and is compelled to support others through difficult periods.

Taking appropriate action: Action is taken based on the sufferers needs at that time, it involves creating a strategy to support and empower.


The report goes on to list some benefits experienced by implementing Compassionate Leadership within the workplace.


-   Compassionate Leadership benefits those employees and leaders who are suffering.

-   Compassionate Leadership facilitates faster recovery through difficult times.

-   Compassionate Leadership enables people to experience positive emotions



Boost productivity

Lowers heart rate/blood pressure and strengthens the immune system

Results in positive client experience.


At the start of this article I shared some stats that showed quite clearly the common approach to handling well being isn’t making a dent, and that a one size fits all approach isn’t sustainable.

Compassionate Leadership coaching would introduce some new life into coaching at a corporate level.

It would help leaders to feel, to understand, and to show compassion, support and why don’t we just say it, love.

Once a leader has the pressure taken off them, they can show the same compassion to their work force.


This is how I believe we can start creating a shift within work place well being initiatives,

We start from the top and those changes work their way down.

We move from being Lone Wolves to being Compassionate Leaders of the pack


Henry Johnstone

Head Coach

Health Optimising UK

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