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Event Recap: Compassionate Leadership With Wales HR Network











13th January 2021

Wales HR Network held their first event of 2021 for HR Leaders focused on compassionate leadership with guest speaker Pip Gwynn, Business Psychologist & Director at Insight HRC.

Wales HR Network is the leading network for HR professionals in Wales. During this event Pip shared insights on how to connect through empathy and compassion to build back better.

Below is a summary of key insights and talking points.


Understanding Compassionate Leadership

Compassion can be defined as

‘The quality of having positive intentions and real concerns for others.’

Compassionate leadership is defined as

’the ability to do hard things in a human way ‘ -The potential project.

This leadership style Improves collaboration, raises trust, enhances loyalty – all factors in improving engagement, discretionary effort and wellbeing. It also has personal benefits for leaders enhancing personal wellbeing, confidence and ability. Compassionate leaders are seen as stronger and more competent.

Evidence from neuroscience tells us that when people feel safe than can improve their ability to problem solve and make good decisions. This is where compassionate leadership can make a real difference in the workplace.

Leadership often requires tough choices that disappoint and upset people, such as giving difficult feedback, redundancies. The wise compassion leadership matrix highlights four common leadership styles.


The Wise Compassion Leadership Matrix










These styles aren’t hardwired or permanent –they indicate a particular mood, mindset or context. We can all be any of these at any time. Our levels of personal wellbeing and energy will also impact where we sit within this matrix.


Compassion can be broken down into empathy, cognitive and motivation.









As humans we’re not always accurate at understanding our own thoughts and feelings. So to be a compassionate leader, we need to support others to understand what’s going on for them, so that we can find the best way to act.


Developing compassionate Leadership

View compassionate leadership as a practice with a focus on being conscious and aware. Here are a few things you can practice to develop compassion leadership.

  • Check your intentions. What is it that you want to get from a specific interaction with someone? From our work with conflict we know that all behaviour has a goal. Learn to be brutally honest about how you are feeling.
  • Listen consciously. Be consciously aware of the filters that we put through what we hear from others. We filter everything we hear through our own histories. And in the rush of today, we make judgements and evaluate what we hear before the person has even finished talking. Conscious listening takes time – to hear what’s being said, to consider our own reactions and to choose a compassionate response.
  • Practice candid transparency. Transparency has been valued in communications during COVID in organisations. Importantly, this is candid transparency with compassion – where that transparency comes with positive intentions to do the best for someone. Are we backing away from doing/saying something difficult for them or for us?
  • Self Compassion – look after your physical wellbeing, practice self acceptance and self awareness.












For more information about Wales HR Network and updates about their future events please click here.

To request more information about how insight can support organisations with leadership development get in touch here.

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