Dr. Heidi Gardner and Mark Mortensen co-authored an article on how managers can balance the need for performance and compassion.
After two years of turmoil, employees need their managers to show compassion. At the same time, executives expect their managers and their teams to deliver results. Middle managers are often the ones feeling that tension most acutely. How can they cope with these competing pressures? Focus on two sets of actions. First, work to increase the organization’s “compassion capacity” — that is, help equip both senior executives and employees to shoulder more of the burden in delivering compassion so that it doesn’t fall entirely on you. Second, work with both executives and employees to lower the perceived pressure of performance demands.