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KPR Mindfulness Series Part 1

Mindfulness in the Workplace: Compassion

Compassion involves an authentic desire to help others, and having a positive effect on others elicits a positive emotional response. When we treat others and ourselves compassionately, we tend to come together in a contributor manner that raises the group to greater heights as a whole. With, bonds are formed, trust is established, and a willingness to collaborate on projects and shared visions becomes the driving force behind our intentions.

Here are some actionable steps to becoming more compassionate in the workplace.

  1. Get to know your colleagues

People want to feel that they belong to a team and that they have a connection with others. Take the time to introduce yourself to someone you may not know well in the workplace. Ask them questions about themselves, their families, and what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Greet them regularly and be sure to use their name regularly when speaking with them. This makes people feel seen, heard and acknowledged.


  1. Offer guidance to a co-worker

You know how stressful it can feel to hit a roadblock on a particular project. If you see a colleague struggling in an area where you have strength, offer your knowledge or assistance. Share a useful tool or tip from your bag of tricks that may help them along and if the only thing you can do to support them is to make a great cup of coffee then consider doing it for them but just be there.


  1. Lend a hand to someone who is under a tight deadline

If you see a co-worker under pressure and carrying a heavy load, offer to lend them a hand. Ask if they could use some help or what you can take off their plate to ease the strain. Showing that you genuinely care and want to help others not only inspires them but also makes them feel happy to work in the team with you.


  1. Cultivate a collaborative environment

Encourage brainstorming sessions in your workplace. Invite the whole team to share in the organization’s vision and goals, and help create action steps needed to achieve them. An environment where everyone can collaborate by sharing their ideas and offering creative solutions is one that thrives.


  1. Acknowledge employees’ strengths and positive attributes in front of others

Edifying someone in the presence of others is one of the best ways to boost morale. Think back to a time when someone applauded you in front of a group of your peers and how valued it made you feel. See where you can find opportunities to acknowledge people for their strengths and celebrate their wins with them.


  1. Be an example of a compassionate leader

The best leaders are those who lead from the heart, those who have the ability to inspire others through kindness, flexibility, support, and empowerment. When you treat people with compassion they never forget and, as a result, you develop people who want to work for you because you care.


  1. Check the motivation behind your decisions, your words, and your behaviour

Always check in with your thoughts before they become words or actions to be sure your motivation is pure. If you catch yourself about to say or do something that is not coming from a place of integrity, or if it is untrue, unkind, or unnecessary, think before you act. Every word and action generates a reaction. Be sure your ripple effect is positive and one that promotes a culture of compassion.


  1. Organize team-building activities

Take the lead, or ask for a volunteer, to set up monthly or quarterly team building activities for employees. It can be anything from putting together softball teams to organizing a community clean up or volunteering with an organization to feed the homeless. Ask employees to submit ideas and suggestions for creative and fun team-building exercises to make everyone feel included.


  1. Encourage employees to practice conscious communication

Foster an atmosphere of conscious communication among employees and encourage people to engage in an open dialogue with one another. Co-workers who openly talk and share their thoughts and feelings with each other through truthful and heartfelt expression are more likely to work through challenges together. Teach employees how to give feedback in a way that inspires motivation for improvement rather than making someone feel wrong. Guide people to ask sincere questions and listen to one another with interest.


  1. Design a compassion challenge to inspire daily acts of kindness

Make kindness fun. Create an in-office compassion challenge (e.g. “30 Days of Kindness”) and get your team pumped up to do all of the above (and more) on a daily basis. Have a board or chart where everyone can see and feel the progress being made and consider awarding a grand prize to the person who performed the highest.

What has your organisation done recently to encourage a thriving company culture of compassion and kindness? Share your steps with us.

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