Coaching With Compassion

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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.

Read the full article in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and click here to learn more about the journal. If you’re interested in receiving e-alerts about newly published research on group dynamics, organization development, and social change, then click here!

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