CHAPTER 2

Compassion

Build for belonging.

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.

—HIPPOCRATES

Compassion is the concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others. Compassion touches every aspect of our lives. We want compassionate doctors, of course, but compassion in the workplace is also a powerful driver not only of satisfaction with work and engagement but also of enhanced organizational performance.

The word compassion comes from the Latin word compati, which means “to suffer with.” In other words, acting with compassion is about relieving the suffering of another. In its simplest form, compassion is enhancing and protecting life without any thought of being paid back. In this sense, compassion is an unconditional gift. As a virtue, ...

Get Exception to the Rule: The Surprising Science of Character-Based Culture, Engagement, and Performance now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.