How Compassionate Is Your Company?

The importance of, and ways to foster, compassion in the workplace


Early in my law practice, I remember going to the head of my team to report a serious work matter. Without hesitation, he told me to stop complaining and suck it up. Needless to say, any favorable opinion I had of him evaporated and our working relationship was forever changed. How would you respond if a member of your work team experienced a sudden life event? Does your company have procedures in place to handle such a crisis? When was the last time you experienced compassion at work, whether you were the giver or the receiver? Compassion is one of those “soft skills” companies tend to get nervous about, but over a decade of research is revealing that a company’s level of compassion has critical bottom line implications.


I recently attended Dr. Jane Dutton’s workshop on compassion at the International Positive Psychology Association’s 3rd World Congress. Compassion isn’t only about “hugging it out,” and according to Dr. Dutton, compassion is exhibited in many forms.

by Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP