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Cultivating compassion at work

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 2.8

If you’d like to be more engaged, fulfilled and productive in your community and at work, try cultivating compassion for those around you. The benefits you receive from caring for and connecting with others are many. In this video, you’ll learn four steps for generating compassion that you can apply in your work, leadership efforts and community life.



Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Lori] Hello and welcome to Two for You. In a recent episode we talked about self-compassion. Today we're going to highlight compassion at work and in specific, talk about a four step process that Jane Dutton and Monica Worline talked about in their book, "Awakening Compassion at Work." So, just to start off, some of the benefits of compassion - research has found that it really helps us to feel less isolated, increases our productivity at work, increases our engagement at work. So really having that connections with others helps us to be more engaged and feel more fulfilled in the work that we have.

[Denise] So if you don't understand how to start generating that compassion, the four steps that Worline an Dutton talk about are quite simple. They say, first, Notice. We know we're all busy and stressed at work but take the time to notice the people around you. Second, Interpret what the people around you are doing. What's what's the quality of their life right now at work. Be generous in your interpretation. Don't think that someone's being lazy or late just to tick you off, so to speak, but understand that they're going through something. And that brings in the "feel" part. Cultivate your empathy to try to understand what that person is feeling so you can have a better sense and a better connection with them. Take the time to linger after meetings, turn off your cell phone when you're with them. And then finally, Act. Approach the person. Speak to them, ask if there's something that they need help with. How can you help them have a better situation at work.

[Lori] So I like those. As leaders, even in community leaders, right, the same thing, you're rushing after working, your community meetings. So, notice, interpret generously - you know, you have a choice to be empathetic. So really kind of connecting with their feelings and then act. We do have a choice to make a difference. So, lots to think about as we live and lead with intention. 

Authors: Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, former Extension educators

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