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ACTING: THE MOVES THAT ALLEVIATE SUFFERING AT WORK

IN THE WORLD OF WORK, compassion is expressed in action. Our research has uncovered the fact that compassion at work is largely improvisational, meaning that actions often have to be made up on the spot, shaped in ways that correspond with the unique circumstances of suffering. Like improv actors who make up their lines as they go or jazz musicians who build off of one another’s notes, compassionate actions are creative moves that build off of interpretations of suffering, feelings of empathic concern, and perceptive engagement about what will be helpful. Unlike actors or musicians, however, most managers and leaders don’t receive training or know how to deliberately build skill in acting with ...

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