The health of organizations depends upon the health and happiness of the human beings who run them. When it comes to coaching, compassion is key to creating well-being, both within the individual and at the organizational level. Richard E. Boyatzis, Melvin L. Smith, and ‘Alim J. Beveridge, all of Case Western Reserve University, published “Coaching With Compassion: Inspiring Health, Well-Being, and Development in Organizations” on November 1, 2012 in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. The authors write in the abstract:
Compassion involves noticing another’s need, empathizing, and acting to enhance their well-being. In response to another’s pain, the motivation is to increase hedonic well-being or the absence of pain. In response to another’s desire to grow, the motivation is to increase eudaimonic well-being or helping them develop. We argue that compassion includes both. Our expanded view suggests that coaching with compassion will lead to desired change, enhanced health, and well-being. We propose a model saying coaching with compassion invokes a psychophysiological state that enables a person to be open to new possibilities and learning. In contrast, coaching for compliance (i.e., toward how the coach or the organization believe the person should act) and deficiency-based coaching invoke the opposite state—resulting in a person being defensive, reducing cognitive functioning. We theorize how coaching with compassion can enhance adaptability of the organization through creating norms and relationships of caring and development.
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