What do empathy, compassion and benevolence have to do with salespeople and leaders?
Over the past few years, different studies around the world have confirmed that these are critical qualities of highly successful people, teams, companies and communities.
Leaving behind the energy draining need of ‘striving for perfection and approval’, competition at all costs, and focussing on obtaining status via material possessions and power, all potential hallmarks of a 20th century ‘me’ focused culture, many people are coming to realise that practicing empathy, compassion and benevolence is allowing them to accept themselves as they are which in turn is allowing them to free up energy to accept others too. They are finding that practicing ‘self’ and ‘other’ acceptance is the basis for all healthy and productive relationships – at work and home.
Medical research confirms that living in a constant state of fear – flight or fright, is leading to adrenal fatigue, lower immune responses, dramatic increases in heart disease and early onset dementia. In addition to the stark medical news if we operate from a constant state of fear we see a reduction in feelings of empathy, compassion and benevolence across all walks of life which leads to outcomes such as increases in road rage incidents, alcohol and substance abuse, relationship breakdowns, depression and other mental illnesses to name a few.
A recent US study estimates that distress; operating from a place of constant fear, costs companies about $200 billion a year in increased absenteeism, tardiness and the loss of talented workers. Not good for anyone, any family, business or community.
The good news is, everyone can develop and master empathy, compassion and benevolence through training. And a growing number of companies are buying into the notion that developing these qualities through meditation can alter the brain in ways that drive important organisational outcomes.
What the above mentioned US study also revealed was that practicing meditation can increase job satisfaction and productivity. A number of companies are encouraging employees to take up meditation practices which in turn is reducing distress and increasing wellbeing which helps people be more effective and productive. Working from a ‘can do’ approach more leaders and their teams are finding better pathways to successful outcomes in this complex, busy world and rewiring their brains and their lives to suit.
So instead of living in constant state of fear of achieving our sales budgets, keeping our businesses afloat, and all that goes with it, maybe we could take some time out of our busy days and at the very least start to meditate, finding space in for reflection and contemplation – giving our brains and bodies space to be at rest and clear the daily distresses.
By practicing meditation we can train our brains to start working in the prefrontal cortex and tap into our creativity and quality decision making, as well as our empathy, compassion and benevolence which clears a pathway thus allowing people to work together and co create, finding better more effective and efficient ways to be successful.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.