At its best, a workplace is a team effort. Everyone works together towards common goals, and everyone supports each other. But in reality, workplaces are often far from perfect. Miscommunications happen, people butt heads, and conflicts arise. As a manager, it’s your job to mediate these disputes and keep your team working harmoniously. And one of the best ways to do that is by being a compassionate manager.
Compassion is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s about being sensitive to the needs of others and feeling empathy for their experiences. When you can see things from another person’s perspective, it’s easier to find common ground and work together toward a resolution.
Practicing compassion doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with everyone on your team. But it does mean creating an environment where people feel comfortable communicating with you and sharing their concerns. Here are a few tips on being a more compassionate manager.
Create an Open-Door Policy
An open-door policy is when managers make themselves available to talk to employees whenever necessary. This could mean setting aside time daily for one-on-one meetings or simply making yourself available via email or chat. Open-door policies help a manager be more compassionate.
An open-door policy aims to create an environment where employees feel comfortable coming to you with problems or concerns. When people feel like they can’t approach their manager, they’re more likely to bottle up their feelings—which can lead to resentment and passive-aggressive behavior down the line.
Encourage Open Communication
Open communication is essential for any team that wants to function well. That means creating an environment where people can speak up without fear of judgment or reprisal. It also means being receptive to feedback, even if it’s criticism. Open communication helps a manager be more compassionate.
As a manager, one of the best ways to encourage open communication is by modeling it yourself. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings, your team won’t be either. So set the tone by being open and honest with your team about what’s going on in your life and what’s on your mind. They’ll be more likely to do the same with you.
Be Willing to Listen
Listening is one of the most important—and underrated—skills that a manager can have. When someone comes to you with a problem, it’s easy to want to jump in and offer a solution right away. But sometimes, people just need someone to listen to them and offer support. Listening helps a manager be more compassionate.
If someone on your team comes to you venting about a co-worker or feeling overwhelmed by their workload, resist the urge to immediately offer advice or step in and fix the problem for them. Instead, just listen and let them know you’re there for them. Sometimes, that’s all people need.
Compassionate managers can create positive workplaces where employees feel supported and valued. If you want to be a more compassionate manager, start by creating an open-door policy, encouraging open communication, and being willing to accept feedback graciously—even if it isn’t always positive.
Remember: sometimes, all people need is someone who will listen without judgment or interruption. By showing compassion towards your employees, you can build trust, foster respect, and create a more positive work environment for everyone involved.