How leaders balance compassion and accountability

"In these times that demand extraordinary executive acumen the ability to build connection while getting results is one of the most prized attributes leaders can display."  Ian Taylor, Sheffield North Island Managing Director 

The skills for retaining top talent are constantly evolving. In a recent article, the balance of compassion and accountability is highlighted as one of those skills.

Compassion and accountability are often seen as a choice. However, prioritising accountability can create a toxic working environment, while on the other side, being too nice can compromise performance. 

So, what is compassionate accountability?
Compassionate accountability is the process of building connection while getting results. 

According to SmartBrief, cultures where leaders regularly interact with compassionate accountability are 3.4x more likely to be rated as a best place to work, 3.3x more likely to retain high-potential employees, and overall perform better financially.

“The new generation wants leaders with interpersonal communication skills who deliver on relationships AND results. The good news is you don’t have to compromise. Compassion and accountability are not opposites. In fact, compassion includes accountability… Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable and responsible in every interaction.”

A change in mindset is required to achieve this. Find below the three pillars of compassionate accountability:

  • Value - The belief that people are unconditionally valuable
    Everyone deserves to be valued for who they are as a person, with no strings attached. 
  • Capability - The belief that anyone can be part of the solution.
    Our unique qualities, skills and experiences deserve to be affirmed, and we deserve the opportunity to contribute, learn and grow in a collaborative environment.
  • Responsibility - The belief that everyone is responsible for their own thoughts, feelings and actions. Regardless of what happened before, we are each 100% responsible for what we do next. No more, no less.

Treating yourself and others as valuable, capable and responsible in every interaction is key to achieving compassionate accountability.


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