Awakening Compassion at Work

Awakening Compassion at Work

The Quiet Power That Elevates People and Organizations

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Many workplaces are now starting to value the human side of work. Organizations are beginning to recognize, for example, that just getting the job done isn’t enough. At a basic level, the job should be done legally and ethically. At a higher level, social responsibility starts to kick in. Some organizations are moving to the level of competencies, where employees are not assessed just on fundamental deliverables of their job description, but also on how the job is done through a competency framework, such as using solid judgement, or initiative, or teamwork, or leadership.

I would argue that “compassion” is a key competency that should be hard-wired into organizations at all levels and this important book makes the case. Worline and Dutton, both stellar researchers in the areas of organizational effectiveness and compassion, start by explaining that compassion is a felt and enacted desire to alleviate suffering, starting with noticing that there is suffering, to taking action, to alleviate that suffering. Throughout their book, Worline and Dutton make the case that compassion enhances learning, fuels strategic advantage, motivates collaboration and is important for the financial bottom line. It somehow seems a little sad that we have to deliberately remind people to care when they see colleagues suffering. However, here we are. Practice your own compassion for others, in work and everywhere else, and encourage others to be actively compassionate. The workplace needs it. For more, visit the book’s website at and take part in 100 days of compassion.


Lisa Sansom

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