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About compassionate leadership

Explains what compassionate leadership is, why it matters, and where to get more information.

What is compassionate leadership?

Compassionate leadership is a way of leading people that focuses on four behaviours:

  • listening
  • understanding
  • empathising
  • helping.

You can find out more about these behaviours on the Gwella website.

It’s a commitment to give the right support to people in our teams so they can respond effectively to challenges and thrive in their work.

You don’t have to be a manager to lead with compassion. Anyone at any level can use the four behaviours.

When we lead with compassion, we put staff well-being and development first.

This means the people we lead are working in a culture that’s inclusive, effective and positive.

Why does compassionate leadership matter?

People who work in social care need a supportive culture with clear direction and encouragement.

Leading with compassion gives them that direction and encouragement. It helps our teams to feel valued and respected, so they can do their best work.

It needs resilience and courage, but compassionate leaders give confidence to their teams. That confidence can mean teams:

  • work together to reach the same goal
  • can learn from mistakes at work
  • are motivated to do a good job
  • feel comfortable raising issues to make things better
  • attract people with similar values to new roles
  • keep staff longer because they’re happier
  • are compassionate to other people.

This means we can support people to live the best life they can through better care and support.

It can feel challenging to start working this way on top of other demands. But you may already be doing some of these things and even small steps can have a big impact.

Next steps

If you want to start putting compassionate leadership into practise, visit our page on the principles of compassionate leadership.

Contact us

If you’d like to talk to us about compassionate leadership, email: leadership.development@socialcare.wales.

First published: 5 June 2024
Last updated: 5 June 2024
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