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During the pandemic many within the Health and Social Care workforce have been asked to learn new skills, work in different settings, on their own or with new team members and to utilise alternative approaches to how they would usually deliver care.
The impact of change both professionally and, importantly, personally can cause people to feel anxious or stressed and calls for compassionate professional leadership.
Research suggests that the most effective leaders consistently demonstrate compassion by:
Being present; they pay attention to people and “listen with fascination”
Empathising with people and their situation
Having the motivation to help; taking action to make a difference where necessary
Developing a shared understanding of the situation they face.
Leaders can lead by example, creating a culture where asking for help is seen as courageous and insightful, rather than a sign of weakness. They can also sign-post and engage staff with appropriate support and help.
Adapted from Why compassionate leadership matters at a time of crisis Suzie Bailey and Michael West, The Kings Fund
Michael West from the Kings Funds talks more about compassion in leadership here.
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