How you treat your team members matters — especially amid the Great Resignation. Research from McKinsey shows that when employees perceive compassion or kindness from their boss, they become more loyal to them. A survey by EY consulting found that 90% of U.S. workers say that empathetic leadership improves job satisfaction and 79% say it decreases turnover.

Many leaders wonder how to walk the line between showing compassion and getting things done. It’s important, though, to develop the practice of being more compassionate. Liz Kislick, management consultant and executive coach, says that you probably won’t be a great leader if you don’t care enough about other people to work on developing your compassion.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Kislick’s ideas on how you can lead with more compassion.

1. Ask more questions. The more you ask, the more you can learn about a particular situation or issue. This can help you avoid having an emotional reaction to a problem and instead begin to determine how to solve that problem. Kislick says that whether you feel empathetic regarding a challenge someone is having, or you’re frustrated about why someone won’t behave the way you want them to, one of the most effective ways to move forward is to find out more.

2. Emphasize your team’s needs. To lead with compassion, you should put your team’s needs ahead of your own. Remember that you won’t always have everything you need, Kislick says, but you should always strive to do what works best for others. When making decisions or assigning tasks, stay attuned to your team. This can help you make the task at hand feel more attainable for your team, and in turn, they will feel better equipped to achieve the results.

3. Make decisions closer to your team. In other words, move decisions closer to where the action is. Instead of having closed-door discussions and then relaying the outcome to your team, work to involve more managers instead of only senior leaders. Kislick says this helps each manager figure out what they need to do to deliver and how to do it with the people they have.

4. Care about your boss. While you don’t lead your boss, it’s important to care about the people above you as well as those you oversee directly. Learning what’s important to your boss and helping your boss be successful will strengthen that relationship, thereby earning you more leeway for the actions you want to take to support your people, Kislick says.

5. Stay realistic. Compassionate leadership doesn’t mean always giving people what they want or building an anything-goes culture. Sometimes, an individual may not be cut out for the role or there may be an issue that warrants someone’s departure. To lead with compassion, Kislick says it’s crucial to explain to them exactly what it is about their behaviors that are ineffective or damaging. Offer the individual help in changing those behaviors and make clear that if they cannot or will not change those behaviors, then the organization cannot afford their presence. And remember, she says, it’s not compassionate to let the team flounder.

You can become a more compassionate leader with focus and effort. Start by considering the practices above, and you can begin to build stronger and more trusting connections with the people on your team.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Liz Kislik is a nationally acclaimed management consultant and executive coach and a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes.