Written by Amy Rees Anderson.
Compassion. It is a word we often hear talked about when it comes to religion, but it is not a word used often enough when it comes to discussing what makes a business successful. Yet compassion can directly affect the bottom line. The Dalai Lama expressed it best when he said, “Compassion is not religious business, it is human business.” Indeed, compassion helps leaders be successful, it helps employees become successful, and ultimately it contributes to making companies a success.
Multiple studies have shown that shows of compassion, as well as acts of kindness and generosity, create a ripple effect that stems from those who do the act, to those who observe the act, and the ripple continues expanding, impacting numerous others who are all benefited as a result of just one single show of compassion. At the conclusion of one particular study performed by James Fowler of UC San Diego and Nicolas Christakis of Harvard they shared, “The results suggest that each additional contribution a subject makes to the public good in the first period is tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more as a consequence. These results show experimentally that cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.” They go on to say that “as a result, each person in a network can influence dozens or even hundreds of people, some of whom he or she does not know and has not met.”
If one single show of compassion can have that far reaching of an impact, just imagine the enormous impact an entire company of people showing compassion can have. All it takes is one person to be willing to take the lead.
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