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Is There a Passion for Compassion Where You Work?

I'm in a small group bible study with a few guys in local businesses where the topic is love. Yes, you heard correctly. The topic is LOVE. The specific focus is on learning to incorporate the principle of Jesus' love in the workplace. You would think it would be easy. After all, who's not in favor of love? But the reality is that it's proven to be quite challenging. Almost any other topic of leadership would have been easier - integrity, service, excellence, influence, life balance, or any of a number of other popular and pertinent topics in business. But love has proven to be uncomfortable.

You seldom hear of love being discussed in business. The focus is usually on other areas such as innovation, competition, performance, and productivity. However, there is compelling research that supports what may seem obvious, "people perform better when they feel like they matter and are treated with compassion."

Writing about stress in the workplace, Emma Sepalla, of Stanford University, cites a new field of research that suggests when organizations promote an "ethic of compassion rather than a culture of stress, they may not only see a happier workplace, but also an upward bottom line."

She goes on to write: "Happy employees also make for a more congenial workplace and improved customer service. Employees in positive moods are more willing to help peers and to provide customer service on their own accord. What's more, compassionate, friendly, and supportive co-workers tend to build higher-quality relationships with others at work. In doing so, they boost coworkers' productivity levels and increase coworkers' feeling of social connection, as well as their commitment to the workplace and their levels of engagement with their job. Given the costs of health care, employee turnover, and poor customer service, we can understand how compassion might very well have a positive impact not only on employee health and well-being but also on the overall financial success of a workplace."

How about your workplace? Where does compassionate love fit within your corporate culture? How about you? Where does compassionate love fit within the culture of your professional relationships? Maybe you could lead the way.

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