Compassion: a basic need that leaders need to provide. Authenticity and unrestrained clarity are values that should exist in every workplace. Being a great leader isn’t coddling.
To wit: from an interview with Rath and Conchie, co-authors of Strengths Based Leadership:
Rath: There's an amount of risk in building a personal relationship with a subordinate. If things go awry, that can certainly create challenges. But a lot of this gets back to the core research that we've conducted at Gallup by interviewing more than thirteen million people in the workplace. We've seen that if people don't have close friendships on the job and if they don't have a supervisor or leader who really cares about them individually, there's almost no chance that they'll be engaged in their work. So if leaders avoid building close relationships because they're concerned about a minimal downside risk, they're not considering the huge upside value of it.
GMJ: Can you give me an example?
Conchie: At the individual level, compassion can manifest itself in many different ways. You can show you care, for example, by having tough conversations with people about their performance and their positioning. The fact that you care so much is why you ask them whether the job is right for them.