In a TV interview on CBS This Morning, Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO, said that he has come to understand that compassion is not just a better way to build a team, it’s a better way to build a business. In his commencement address to the Wharton School graduating class (on May 13, 2018) he talked about his vow, that if he were to manage people, he would aspire to manage them compassionately.
Weiner said, “if you really want to lift people up and help them be their best, you need to look at things from their perspective”. He explained that understanding your team, and their hopes and dreams, isn’t always easy. Having compassion for others can be very challenging, he admitted, because so many of us are ego-centric. Recognizing the challenge of caring about others is why he says he “aspires to be compassionate”. This caring approach is part of the LinkedIn culture, from recruiting and onboarding, to learning and development, and in how they set goals and measure performance.
Weiner explained that the LinkedIn research data showed the number one skill lacking among workers today is interpersonal skills. A lot of people are fixated on the importance of technology training. However, the need for professional development in the “soft skills” was roughly three times higher than the need for the development of technical skills. Recognizing the value of “soft skills” is difficult for some people and organizations, until they come to understand that empathy, compassion and letting others know you care about them is not a weakness, but rather a critical strength for effective leaders.
Developing leaders to become more compassionate starts with the critical “soft skill” of self-leadership. Learning this foundational skill helps leaders recognize the impact of their mindset. Mindset not only impacts a person’s performance, but also the quality of their relationships, and effectiveness as a leader. Leaders who are willing to examine their thinking, begin to choose thoughts that better serve their efforts, and become better, more productive leaders. Learning this more compassionate approach strengthens leadership at every level, and in every type of organization from the board room, to the shop floor, from public or private, to industry or education.
What do you think would happen if compassionate leadership was a highly valued, practiced and rewarded skill in your organization (or home)?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, email us at [email protected]
Kristin Clark, a Leadership Development Coach and her father, Harvey Schoof, co-founder of Axiogenics, a Leadership Development company, partner to create a blueprint for
Living a Richer Life; It’s All in Your Head!
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