An Interview with Karlin Sloan, originally published at Forbe.com.
I am often asked how compassion, empathy and sympathy are delineated. Here are the working definitions used as a framework while surveying new research related to compassion and how to better integrate self-compassion and compassion into the world of work:
Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distresses together with a desire to prevent or to alleviate it
Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
Sympathy: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune
Some of this evidence points to practicing compassion (beyond sympathy and empathy) reduces stress, improves productivity and enhances the ability to create meaningful relationships. I recently had the chance to interview Karlin Sloan about the role of compassion in leadership. She is the CEO of Sloan Group International, a global leadership development consultancy with offices in the USA, Australia and India. Her insights offer the business case for embracing compassion.
“I think in the past; the word compassion was missing from the corporate landscape because it is hard to monetize compassion. We are undergoing a massive societal transformation right now and the language of leadership is changing. We need compassion more than ever in order to adapt to the brave new world we’ve entered.