And I can hear you screaming … going ‘no, no, I need perfection,’ But there’s no such thing as perfection.

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who helps people shift from languishing to thriving. In today’s video, I want to talk to you about instilling compassion in your teams. In my 12 years’ experience as a coach, I have often found that people are very compassionate towards others, but seldom compassionate towards themselves.

Kristin Neff, who is a researcher on self-compassion, says self-compassion comprises of three aspects.

1. Being kind

The first one is self-kindness. Actually, just being kind to yourself and cutting yourself some slack.

2. Being human

The second one is being human. Giving yourself permission and forgiveness for when you make mistakes, because that’s part of being human.

3. Being mindful

And the third one is being mindful. Being aware when your needs are not met.

Those three components make up self-compassion. So self-kindness, being human to yourself, and mindfulness. In a team, the same question arises. Are you aware of people’s needs and needs that have been met or not met? Do you forgive people for their mistakes?

So those are the two I’d like to focus on. Many people find being self-compassionate very self-centred, because it’s about ‘honouring my needs first’. But you cannot give to the world if your needs haven’t been met and you’re not in a state of balance. So, looking after your self-compassion is critical because thereafter you can give to the rest of your team.

Three tips that I want to share with you, that you can instil with your team to increase compassion are: stop the judgement and the criticism. We are very quick to do that, and it’s our natural bias to often see the negative before the positive. However, often it’s stepping back and looking at what’s really working well and what we’re thankful for. It does take a different lens, but that’s a huge part of compassion.

The second one is not to strive for perfection. I can hear you screaming going ‘no, no, I need perfection,’ but there’s no such thing as perfection. If you reached perfection, you’d never grow. There would be no opportunities for you to develop.

Hence, striving for perfection doesn’t increase compassion. It actually decreases it. It becomes a barrier within compassion.

The third and final point in compassion in teams is to embrace negative emotions. As mentioned in a previous video, negative emotions are very important. There’s data that helps you understand what’s not working well in the team, and understanding what everybody needs right now to bring in more compassion.

Compassion is a soft skill that can be learned. It does take time and practice, but it really starts with you being compassionate towards yourself, not being so strict with yourself, being forgiving, and understanding what your needs are. Once you’ve developed that in yourself, you’re able to see it more in others and bring in more humanity and gentleness.

It’s truly something that holds a team together when there’s more compassion. It builds a lot of camaraderie, and that enhances the game, team spirit, productivity, and performance.

Thank you for watching. I look forward to connecting with you in the next one.

I don’t want you to miss anything. So, I want to invite you to join me on social media. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on SoundCloud, and like me on Facebook.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

When last was a leader compassionate towards your needs?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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