Compassion as a business necessity

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. -The Dalai Lama

I was really struck by this quote and started to muse on why people in business are still not valuing their natural ability be ‘compassionate’ for each other in the workplace. Is it because it is deemed too emotional in its purest form to add value in monetary terms and therefore can’t be added to the ledger?

Yet compassion for me is the most valuable measure of business when seen in good leadership, a trusting workforce culture, and healthy retention of clients and customers. It is a natural way forward to preserve good health and vitality of our employees – and is core energy for getting on with everyone. I am talking here of a true compassion, as the Dalai Lama talks of, which embraces daily love, supports fairness, trust, respect and care for every man and woman.

Yet I am often told, you can’t talk like this in business, you have to talk about hard tangible benefits. Tough times need tough measures.

I disagree. This is exactly the time to turn around your life and your business, right from top to bottom, with love and compassion. Own it, be it, see the results. CEOs and top Boards are now seeing the growth of a strong female economy, changing requirements of women and men to be on par, accepted on their natural merits, each doing what they do best – together with compassion and not judgment.

How do you cope with adversity and chaos in today’s tricky economic climate? People too often blame others when the key to unlock is within. In hard measurable terms, if we don’t unlock this key, then we suffer, relationships suffer and business success goes out of the window.

I believe in our natural endless capacity to love and feel compassion for each other and that as a human race we have the ability and the desire to seek new ways and create a buoyant, abundant, collaborative world were all count, all add their own unique value, everyone counts. I know in my deepest essence that I am part of a whole existence that covers not just this day, but all the past and future that is. I share the responsibility for our world and see the natural energy of co-creation with us.

Working with men and women in diverse arenas, generations and situations, I see men and women holding the two halves of a whole solution, yet not creating a new blueprint together. Is it that, stuck as we are in an old pattern that does not serve us any more, we stubbornly refuse to believe that there is another way – the men stay tough and resistant to change, focused on targets, survival, power and profit; the women too often opt out of their feminine softness and take on the mantle of business the tough way. Neither side needs to stay fixed and rooted in either. I am encouraged by the ground swell of women today wanting to be in business and the news that the ‘female economy’ is being noticed by men when it comes to wealth managers and the growing wealth of women across the world. However we still haven’t got to grips with the bigger conversation that can embrace all women, their needs, all men and their needs, and most importantly the needs of a fragile changing world. Economies are constrained by overspend and cutbacks and we are told that we’re in for a period of austerity in the tabloid press. Women can make a difference to the future by stretching the new playing field into the natural domain of female needs rather than playing hard ball in a man’s world.

I believe there is a new magic we can bring to our collective conversations which honours our core strengths as men and women and allows for new energy of female growth to come into business as a whole. If we only calculate success of women by their wealth capability, we may ignore the contributions of those women who excel in other non-profit ways. We can ensure a more balanced ownership of true wealth to emerge easily when we add compassion to business and seek equity and fairness within every conversation. I know this will increase the profitline of the whole business and ensure everyone has a healthy life. Healthy, wealthy and wise may be a simple combination worth remembering.

My contribution is to teach people to step in the space they need to deliver their best. I help them to value their inner wisdom, and to be able to join every conversation with compassion.

I host “Magical Conversations” with invited groups of senior men and women to explore how to step into that natural space and be themselves, truly happy, to add loving energy to human business. My own life purpose is to bring harmony, collaboration and serious intention to merge life and business together, and to establish a simpler, more effective way to connect to likeminded people for greater success. I set up these conversations up to set a new pace for life for me and for my clients; a pace to think with my heart and to embrace a new truth about how I/we can co-create a wonderful new business plan for living and work merged together.

As in many mergers, we need to be aware of people’s needs, of bringing together differing cultures together. In the merger of men and women we still haven’t fully understood the natural value of our differences and how beneficial we are to each other. We need to explore how to dissolve all the confusion which goes with old thinking rather than new feelings and demystify the ‘gender code’ about stereotypes, barriers, egos and pre-conceptions. Let’s begin again with the best of the past and an open consideration for the future, and build a new blueprint for business that embraces life and measures love on the bottom line!

Transformed with compassion, the merger of men and women will grow a new culture of energy, loving intentions for growth and profit …and, most important to me, a era of positive loving business behaviour!

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Economy at risk – do women have the missing boardroom ingredient?

In Corporate Boardrooms across the world, it matters that all voices are heard, valued and accounted for in the major and minor conversations that build sustainable success. Many factors influence these conversations in today’s tough economic climate and it is now recognised that men and women together make a positive difference to results. Yet each player brings different, and uniquely valuable, natural traits into this mix. However most women are not heard unless they use masculine styles of behaviour.

As men and women converse in the Boardroom (and elsewhere), it is critical to understand gender dynamics not just between males and females and their biological make-up, but between different natural styles of men and women from masculine to feminine, generation to generation, culture to culture, set against the backdrop of social and economic necessity and key platform issues (good and bad) of our world today – issues such developing technology, fast pace of business, overload and pressure, social unrest, poverty and mis-justice, desire for reform, family and life agendas…. and so much more.

Today I see that too much confusion is forming about women and their role and this has been caused by social stereotypes of women and the historic rise of feminist challenges that were necessary to make women’s voices heard, and a lack of open conversations about our own place in society and the economy at risk. Women are movers and shakers – financially, as consumers, as more than half of the world’s population, yet we are seriously unheard.

Even after the years of feminism (and I am not a feminist myself) I don’t believe that women really want the emasculation of men. We want to be heard and listen to and taken seriously and to play our part – on our terms in a world that we truly co-create with men. I do see that women do not want to be dictated to by the ‘past’, that created by an old world view of business, money and power.

Women love men, but do men value women and really listen to our needs? Do we clearly articulate what we have to offer from a future perspective without being defined by what has been to date?

Today’s contemporary leading business woman is ready for action in a wholly different way. An entrepreneuial mindset, a philanthrophic heart set and a wide scope for integration and collaboration, she has been blocked in the past yet now desires to bring a balanced viewpoint into an economy at risk. She wants to be a contributor in her own right… and heard by both men and women.

For a desirable cohesive balanced mix, where women become equal contributors to the Boardroom conversation, it is vital that female leaders understand how to operate from an informed level in both their professional acumen for boardroom efficiency but also in their personal awareness of gender attributes and natural traits that serve them well yet often get hidden away.

The most effective woman in the boardroom knows who she is as a leader and a woman; she has the confidence to value her contribution and her personal business style as a woman. She will however be faced with a range of communication styles and relationship obstacles from different types of men and different types of women, each with their own personalities, motivators, experiences and perspectives that vary from her own. Learning the elements of a mixed gender group is key. The right conversation, underpinned by a new ‘gender dynamics’ perspective, will increase her effectiveness. With this expert knowledge, a female leader will be heard and can then influence the outcomes desired by all parties, male and female. Men will appreciate her viewpoint and readily add this to their advantage. She can then more easily leverage her natural skills in the Boardroom with regards to key issues such as decision-making, conflict, risk taking and team collaboration.

This new perspective looks at the behavioural and language elements of Gender Dynamics for both men and women in the Boardroom mix; recognising personal and professional style from six different perspectives; and underpins key changes in language patterns that ensure everyone is heard. This is not the same argument as the past… quotas and playing a male game. This is about truly new ground, getting into an ‘and/and’ discussion about what both parties need and not making assumptions that the world designed by men over the last 200 years is actually the way it needs to continue.

It is fascinating to watch the ensuing pressure on our politicians to make a deal – get sorted quickly because the economy is the pressing issue and the ‘£’ our only measure. This does not take account of the human issues and the fact that maybe a too quick decision will leave us trying to solve last months issues with last years resources. Have we not learned that last month is obsolete?.. let alone last year! There is a theory ‘U’ that says it is best to take time out to resolve tough challenges, time out to reflect and open hearted, open minded conversations bringing new ideas together to bring the best solutions. Men are geared to ‘solution finding’ as a primary biological driver… this is why we need a more feminine viewpoint to counter balance this tendency (whether in men and women, this feminine energy looks beyond the task to whether the solution brings benefits to all not just the economy) Women do not separate key issues as men do … and a female ‘logic’ is needed to drive this home!

Together men and women make the best team, in today’s world this is still undervalued by all parties. More than half the UK population is female and yet we are under represented in politics and business. Now maybe proportional representation is about the gender divide as opposed to party boundaries?

We didn’t see women prominent in this election – and the media have slated us for that… Why did that happen? That is a dialogue needed among women which is continuing now in every conversation I hear. However in the business Boardroom, women have more opportunity and can make the changes happen if the men are willing. And some wise CEO’s are willing. Will men and women take up the challenges and create a new blueprint rather than more of the past?

Who will be brave? Are you? Watch this space, magical conversations start this month…

Creating magical conversations…

Pauline Crawford

Pauline Crawford

As time moves on, it becomes apparent that business is still stuck in terms of men and women getting their act together at the top of the corporate world!

I hear so many stories about how we should have more women at the top of business; how we need to change the ‘track record’ of the criteria for women in the boardroom; and women still arguing the toss about whether if they had been in charge, the economic crisis would have not happened! Personally I would like to focus on what we can do together to evolve a new conversation between us all so that we build a healthy, loving, energised and engaged thriving work culture….rather than keep on going over the past!

This is the time to look outside the past restrictions which have stopped progress. I recently addressed 50 lively business women, many solo entreprenuers, some corporate players, some owners of small successful businesses, and my theme was simple… “Life, Love and Legacy” and my request to my audience was ‘what responsibility and ownership do we take for our lives?” How do we bring love and energy into our whole existence… as business professionals, and as mothers, sisters, friends, aunties, daughters and colleagues, as customers and suppliers, as multi-faceted, emotional, caring, intelligent, highly talented, visionary collaborators in today’s future.

I believe if we take a wise stance, draw on our ancient wisdom, our strength as females, be it of many different types and styles, generations and cultures across the world, we can embrace men and persaude, inform, influence and emerge new ways to work together.

My wise advice to these women was direct. Let’s play our best card, draw the female baton and hand it on to other women around the world; recognise the limitations, rules and regulations that have been placed on us yet also look at the special place we’re now at and work together to give reasoned viewpoints as to why and how we change these rules.

Women have fantastic opportunities now to get involved in business, in politics, in social change and in determining our children’s future. Yes it may be a long road of change, but it’s happening as we sleep, eat and go out to work day by day. More and more men and women want a more purposeful world, a world where work and life find a more compatable coalition. And magical conversations are occuring everywhere.

My questions to my audience of women;

What part did women play in the design of our current world? What can we be responsible for in our conversations?

What did each of us learn from our lives to date that give us skills that can play into what has been a male world for many hundreds of years?

How can we discuss, debate and declare our authentic advantage as women without threatening, fighting with or demoralising men?

And why will men listen and hear us in a way that extends an open hand of collaboration?
I am uplifted to meet more and more wise men and women, of all generations who think, feel and act in a space of conscious awareness of others and the community around them. I am being asked every week to bring these magical conversatiosn into a wider arena and that I pledge to do.

Women across the world are gathering, click this link to find out more about Women on the Edge of Evolution and conversations to be held every Saturday from Oct 17th…

‘A thought for today’ I came across this week …

Pause before you let your assumptions spin out of control. Try being less fast to jump to conclusions and judge people or situations. Why not challenge your assumptions by checking out the full story first and then forming an opinion!
Think about your discussions about women, who we are, why we are the way we are, and what we can bring to the table?

Men – please don’t make assumptions about women, we’re here to complement you and bring a balanced view to the table…
Women – don’t make assumptions about other women, don’t pretend to ‘be’ a man even if you have a masculine mind, and don’t sabotage other women who you feel are playing too soft… When women fall out – it confuses the hell out of men and puts them right off including us in business!

My advice to women – learn that men are not the enemy, however they are made differently like a PC computer to our MAC, we use common words, yet our dialogue tells different stories and the hard drive and core programmes are distinct so we often hear and feel different meanings! Magical conversations are when we seek to understand to be understood, we speak and hear, we laugh and learn, we engage and emerge together for mutual benefits!

I asked my audience to think about their legacy…what would you like to be remember for achieving in your life?

Living a life of love that leaves a legacy that lasts…I wrote my ‘orbituary’ a few years ago, an exercise in intention setting – dated 40 plus years onwards,2050, and I pledged to leave a legacy that minimises ‘bad’ negative behaviour at work. More about that legacy next time!!

Call me on 00 44 7976 512117 to continue this conversation and find out more about my work at Corporate Heart. My passion is to shape a new energetic, awake, aware, and alive experience at work!!