Compassion@Work: A Culture of Compassion

by Vanessa F. Hurst, MS

Compassion is showing up in every facet of our lives: in families, with friends, at the office, in community. It is a whisper in the breeze and on the tip of our tongue. Do we superficially talk about being more compassionate, or do we create a culture of compassion?

In most circumstances, parts of any group culture are compassionate although we need to search for compassion components. In an organization, there are policies and procedures in place that alleviate suffering. These can be identified through level of trust, degree of resiliency, and depth of connection.

com_cluValues based upon compassion create a safe environment. Within this space, trust is built. Compassion creates an environment of an open heart and a listening ear. We know that we can share our self and make suggestions without being judged. Not only does a sense of team flourish, but we have also crafted a place of assured success.   We collaborate and cooperate as we create.

Trust forms connections that are relationship. Relationship is the most important aspect of alleviating suffering. We connect with others in ways that say, “you matter,” and “I am listening.” Trust guides us to knowing that even if the outcome isn’t what we expected or wanted, it will be the best outcome for all involved.

Relationships are sustained by both compassion and trust. As individuals and groups, we have resiliency. No longer inundated by the fatigue of suffering for we know that others are with us. A culture of compassion provides us with tools to move through the dark angst of suffering and into the space of compassion given and received.

For Practice: We grow connections, trust, and resiliency in families, organizations, friendships, and other groups by sharing compassion. Try it. Use these simple steps:

  • Identify how a community or organization of which you are part, has compassion at its core
  • For 21-days, within the culture of compassion, be a compassionate presence. Find ways to expand the culture of compassion.
  • At the end of 21-days, let me know what you discovered and what changed.

Vanessa F. Hurst, MS, is a Community Builder who consults with organizations to grow their compassion cultures in ways that strengthen connections with current stakeholders and welcome new constituents. Using social media strategies, email campaigns, blogs, and other online and real time resources, she coordinates virtual and real time communities of 5-16,000 members. Vanessa is author of Engaging Compassion Through Intent & Action. For more about Vanessa


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