In an age with such tremendous disparity in social economic factors, cultural and demographic tensions, Compassion is the competency that will enable the best to emerge.

Compassion can be learned by developing an eye and ear for another’s emotional reactions to things. Part of Compassion is being attentive and open to how you would experience what another person is going through. Being compassionate does not mean giving permission to do something you may not approve of. Be compassionate first and problem-solve second, unless someone’s well-being is at risk. You can enhance compassion by thinking about the needs of those involved, expressing concern, asking how you might help, and acting to support them in meaningful ways.

If any of these behaviors are true of you, or those with whom you work, action tips are available at

  • Fails to identify or acknowledge others’ emotions or reactions
  • Displays and expresses discomfort with others’ emotions and is unable to discuss them
  • Seems inattentive and unresponsive to others’ needs

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

Barasch, Marc I. The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2009.

Dalai Lama XIV. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. New York: Back Bay, 2001.

Ladner, Lorne. The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology. New York: HarperCollins, 2004.

Wilson, Amy L. Compassion: Thoughts on Cultivating a Good Heart. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008.

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