Why is it that when we hear the term ‘compassion’, we don’t automatically conger up images of our workplace? Acts of compassion while in our work spaces don’t seem to fit the daily grind puzzle; or at least not as a priority practice of taking care of people first.
Chances are when we think about compassion, we think about something closer to our own emotional home. We can empathize, but empathy isn’t an effort where we are seeking clarity for understanding of someone’s situation and doesn’t always put us in a common place. Empathy and compassion have different meaning.
Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer and longtime leader of employee personal growth for the company, has a 180 degree different workplace mind set; his approach totally unique. His official title with Google was ‘Jolly Good Fellow’. His mantra is world peace. And now his goal has led him to follow his own quest to educate people in the art of compassion.. Sound unrealistic, lofty or even laughable by today’s corporate mindset? The mindset of ‘get ahead at any expense’, prestige/power at all cost, and of course there is always the material competitive drive ‘the person who gets in the newest, hottest car at the end of the day is a winner’. Tan is clear with his message; compassion creates happiness. His philosophy …live an altruistic state of mind and get past the superficial nonsense.
‘Be kind whenever possible……….
………It’s always possible’
Why is compassion of importance; why should we put it at the top of our values, especially when we get up in the AM and put on the work shirt? Here are a few tried and true answers.
Compassion is a personal connection to another human being.
You are moving relationships in a continuous positive direction.
Having compassion levels all human interactions
This puts everyone involved on a plane of equality vs judgement. You are making the leap to see the world from the eyes of another.
Authentic compassion creates internal and external happiness
Simply put, this is like planting a tree. There is happiness, growth and a depth of roots as it takes shape in all its beauty.
Compassion may be an inherent, natural characteristic or not; but proven through much study, trial and training it can be a learned skill in the quest to have genuine concern over others well being (Dalai Lama). Dare to look at life through someone else’s camera lens. Be perpetually authentic and caring to the human race, yes even at work. It will soon become second nature and the rewards are immeasurable.
Who will you be?