April 15, 2020
Knowledge and Compassionate Leadership
What does leadership, management and consulting within financial institutions look like in times of crisis? Now more than ever both your staff and your account holders need guidance from those with both up-to-date, accurate knowledge as well as attuned compassion. We are not in a business-as-usual moment. Your staff will likely need ongoing support and training to keep up with changing information, regulations and opportunities.
But all the knowledge in the world can't make you someone people trust right now without an ability to lead with sensitivity and compassion. Not everyone has the same response or ability to deal with crisis, and we should resist making assumptions about what individuals are going through personally. Compassionate leadership requires meeting people where they are and potentially customizing your approach to communications. Take the time to do a temperature read at meetings and ask how people are doing. Make sure they know the lines of communication are open and, if your organization has personal support resources, make sure everyone knows how to access them and is encouraged to do so without stigma.
Your frontline needs to be the face for trust, stability and consistency. Helping your team do their jobs more effectively right now may involve understanding where they're at personally and getting comfortable with people showing emotion. The clear communication and compassion you show your team now will filter through to your account holders.
"Compassionate leaders know their stakeholders and address their concerns, their hopes, dreams and fears."
- Amit Ray, author of Mindfulness Meditation for Corporate Leadership and Management