Awakening Compassion in Managers: A New Emotional Skills Intervention to Improve Managerial Compassion

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Compassion is in high demand within organizational research, with important implications for leadership, well-being, and productivity. However, thus far only meditation-based interventions have been implemented to increase compassion in organizations. Our aim was to explore whether compassion could be increased among managers through improving their emotional skills. We implemented a quasi-randomized controlled trial with pre-test and post-test design of a new emotional skills cultivation training among managers, measuring the treatment group (N = 68), the control group (N = 90), and their followers (N = 85 and N = 72). Compared to the control group, the managers exhibited significantly increased sense of emotional skills, with some evidence for an improved sense of compassion. We also found that emotional skills mediated the impact of participating in the intervention group and compassion. Additionally, servant leadership behaviors in the intervention group improved following the intervention. These results demonstrate that instead of being something innate, compassion is a skill that can be increased through training emotional skills, with observable benefits for the organization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business & Psychology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1095–1108
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • CARE
  • Compassion
  • Emotional skills
  • Intervention
  • LOVE
  • Managers
  • Organizations
  • Servant leadership
  • 5144 Social psychology

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