11 Nov The Power Of Self-Compassion For Your Professional Self
The term Self Care or Self Compassion has become a trend on social media and in self help media. What does the term Self-Compassion mean, and how does it benefit us professionally?
In her excellent introduction to Self-Compassion, Dr Kristin Neff explains that having compassion is essentially being aware of the person’s situation and feelings so that we are able to respond emotionally to their pain by showing understanding and kindness. As she says, we should be showing this empathy towards ourselves when we make a mistake or believe we have failed just as we would care for another person.
Neff says a person who has high self-compassion:
- perceives their own failings and weaknesses less judgmentally
- recognises individual failures are a shared human experience
- have a more balanced view when they believe they have failed or had a setback. They learn from the experience and move forward.
How can this help you professionally?
Their results include:
- An improved growth mindset – participants who were less self judgemental and were part of a shared experience of failure were more motivated and positive to face further challenges. Having a self-compassionate mindset can help you learn and build those dendrites!
- Feeling and behaving authentically – participants who were kind to themselves on achievements and their perceived failures made more satisfactory choices by their values. .
- Boosted individual’s relationships with others – Chen says “Being kind and nonjudgmental toward the self is also good practice for treating others compassionately.”.
- More Self Belief – they also showed less self doubt and negative thoughts than individuals who were not self-compassionate.
Self-compassionate leaders were also more likely to notice changes in their team members’ performances, and provide more constructive feedback to improve the recipient to be motivated and determined to improve. Therefore, again, the growth mindset filters through from the leader to influence the thinking and behaviour of their team.
By taking care of your own mental health first, you can positively influence the mental health of your whole team!
- Improved relationships
- An increased Growth Mindset
- More Authenticity
- Positive Self Belief
- Improved Leadership Skills
Serena Chen is a professor of psychology and the Marian E. and Daniel E. Koshland Jr. Distinguished Chair for Innovative Teaching and Research at the University of California, Berkeley.