Frequently Asked Questions answered by Rena

  1. What is Compassionate Management really?
    It’s a management style that brings out the best in people. Compassion is a word that makes some business people think of crystals and hippies. In fact, compassion is a superpower tool that, when combined with accountability, can lead to incredible efficiency and break-through creativity. It’s using the awareness of what somewhat else might be going through to figure out the best way to get the work done, and feel good about how we made it happen.
  2. Why is this important?
    There are two components to our jobs – the product and the interpersonal skills. That means 50% of your performance is based on how aligned the creative output is with the strategy. The other 50% is how we connect with our colleagues, clients, and bosses. Most creative people are only taught the creative output piece and are left to hang re: the interpersonal skill piece. That’s such a crazy set up for failure.
  3. How is this relevant to me?
    There are two ways Compassionate Management is relevant:
    a. The world is virtual. We connect digitally across cultures, locations, and time zones. It’s crucial that we find ways to connect with each other using a universal language that supercedes cultural differences. The desire to be understood is universal and compassion is the language that ensures we see each other regardless of our culture, location, or upbringing.
    b. Compassion is a language that every generation can speak, if we only used it regularly. Again, we’re not talking kumbaya group hug, we’re talking about the tools to see each other and find connection in a way that helps us recognize how we complement each other at work.
  4. I’m a Millennial who is new to management. Can you help me?
    Yes, I can. Let’s talk about what you feel you need guidance on. You have all the tools inside of you; I can help you figure out how and when to apply them.
  5. I’m a Gen X manager and the Millennials on my team are driving me crazy. Can you help?
    Yes, I can. Chances are there is a mutual desire for a work environment where each associate feels seen. Compassionate Management does that. It sets a tone of collaboration across generations that nurtures respect for each persons’ knowledge while also respecting level of experience. This is what most people are seeking at work regardless of whether they are Millenials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
  6. I’m a Millennial and my Gen X manager is driving me crazy. Can you help?
    Yes, I can. Chances are there is a mutual desire for a work environment where each associate feels seen. Compassionate Management does that. It sets a tone of collaboration across generations that nurtures respect for each persons’ knowledge while also respecting level of experience. This is what most people are seeking at work regardless of whether they are Millenials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.
  7. How did Compassionate Management come to be?
    When I started managing 25 years ago, my role model was a typical fear-based manager. There was a generational difference, plus he was miserable. He would set me up for failure repeatedly by telling me to demand things from the team and then not support me when the team complained. The other managers around the office were equally fear-based; it was the culture of the company. So that’s what I became: A miserable manager. It never felt right because I’m an empath. This means I feel others pain as deeply as if it were my own. I think I embraced the miserable manager approach because it was all I knew, but also because it’s easier to hide behind anger than it is to feel the pain of others. I was unhappy in my life and sought out help. I started meditating and doing yoga. I was getting to know myself more deeply, but I was still managing the only way I knew how. After a few years of watching my work friends pull away, I realized I wasn’t happy with how I was interacting with people. It was confusing because I had no other role models but I knew something needed to change. So I made a list of what I was doing and how it felt. Then I made the opposite list – what I wanted to do and how that would feel. Then I began doing it.I learned that compassion and accountability felt better for me, plus it felt better for those I was managing directly or indirectly. That means my boss, my peers and my direct reports. I was able to laugh at the crazy personalities and politics we had to dance around and I had people to laugh with. It was a slow and steady shift that took years to undo what I had learned, and lots of mistakes, to evolve into Compassionate Management. My intention is to save people years of unhappy work experiences by sharing what I’ve learned. If I had known then what I know now, my whole life would have been better. Seriously. Being miserable, coming at everything from a place of fear, is exhausting. It’s uncomfortable in our bodies and hearts and sucks the spirit right out of us. There is absolutely no reason to live like that. There is every reason imaginable to use a management style that nurtures self-respect and mutual respect with colleagues (regardless of whether we like them or not). Compassionate Management is here for the taking.

 

More questions? Email rena@managementformillennials.com