Why Compassion is Critical During COVID-19

Written By: Carisa  Holmes-Peters


Compassion, we all need it from time to time. Do you recall a situation in your life when you were shown compassion from someone? Do you remember how it made you feel? Contentment or acceptance perhaps? Have you shown compassion for someone else? Did you experience feelings of fulfillment? 


I was reading this article recently from Forbes.com and it reinforced to me why compassion is so important in the workplace especially during times of a crisis. I was quite impressed with the feedback shared by leaders and team members regarding job satisfaction and productivity. The statistics make a very strong case for why compassion is a characteristic that can make a difference in the workplace.


My case for compassion.


To serve others well and perform at our best we need to feel respected. Compassion to me is a form of respect for my fellow human being. We all deserve it and will feel better about ourselves and the work we do if we feel compassion and respect from our leaders. We will in turn be more likely to share that compassion with our fellow teammates as well.  


Compassionate leadership has come to be second nature for me. I don’t practice it to reap the benefits this article shared, however that is certainly an added benefit one could appreciate and use as inspiration to become more self-aware. My leadership style is to treat others as I would want to be treated. So that is what guides me. 


My experience with compassionate leadership has shown me so much. For example, the team members I work with want to do the best they can. They truly care and it shows in their work and commitment. I have their back and they know it. This creates a greater level of trust that cannot exist if you don’t pause now and then to see them on a deeper level. As a person that is just like all of us trying to do the best they can. I truly care for our team and I believe that sincerity comes through. As a result, they are exceptional at the work they do and our clients recognize it as well. 


Where do you stand?


I encourage you to step back and reflect on what type of leader you are to your team. Ask yourself, do you encounter resistance, roadblocks, or apprehension? Do you recognize a decrease in productivity from your team? Have you pondered why that is happening? If not, I encourage you to do so. 


I understand there are many types of leaders out there and sometimes your job responsibilities won’t afford you the opportunity to create the ideal scenario I described earlier. But I would challenge you to understand that many of these take so little time to do and the foundation that you build will come back to you in so many ways. Don’t stay in the mindset that this is always the way I have been and it worked fine. The world around us is changing. The way we communicate is changing. 


It is ok to start small…..just start!


I have recognized that key team members want to feel a part of something and if you don’t create an environment to cultivate that, you are missing out. You are missing out on the added creativity, productivity, and cooperation that can exist within your business or organization. 


Compassion is not something you either have or you don’t. It is a skill that can be exercised over time. We aren’t all born with a set amount of compassion. It can grow from our life experiences and the desire to recognize trials and hardships in others. Start by opening those lines of communication. Throwing those elephants out of the room. Treating them the way you want to be treated. Recognize their accomplishments, even if just with a kind word. Or at the very least on a routine basis ask them how things are going in their world. Don’t be surprised if they in turn ask you the same. 


Why now?


Now more than ever, we are all swirling with confusion about the uncertainty we face on a daily basis. In a matter of weeks our entire routine was disrupted.


Am I describing you?? 


Many lives will change from these unprecedented times. None of us could have imagined this place we would be in. We must recognize that every single human being is dealing with their own unique situation and set of circumstances. If you can slow down enough to recognize struggles in those around you, they will give it back to you. And then…the world and the WORKPLACE can become a better place!


“Never look down on anybody, unless you’re helping them up.” 

– Jesse Jackson

Carisa Holmes has 25+ years of experience in leadership and office culture. She is currently an Owner and Administrator of Holmes Marketing Services. In her current role, she focuses mostly on Human Relations, Client Experience, and Office Culture. If you were to ask Carisa what her favorite component of her current position is, she would say, “I absolutely love working with talented people; I enjoy coaching