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 creative 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 the owner of JCrew asked me to manage, I said yes. I was a terrified graphic designer put in a position of leadership with no training. Needless to say, I was terrible. I was a classic fear-based manager because that was all I saw. A few years later, 9/11 happened. At the time, I was a senior level leader at a different in-house creative department and I was successfully bullying people into meeting deadlines. When 9/11 happened, I woke up from the trance of fear-based management and chose to show up as the empathetic, sensitive, and intense artist I am. I had had enough of impressing the C-Suite by stepping on others. I began to say, “How may I help you?” and mean 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. Everyone, regardless of their role or function, can be a great manager. It just takes exposure, experience, and coaching.

More questions? Email rena@managementformillennials.com

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