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Summary of leadership Article on compassion

"Handling the hurt: a critical skill for leaders."
Peter J.. Frost, Ivey Business Journal Online, Jan - Feb.p1(6) (2005)

Summary and Critique
By Gyneth A. McAllister

Leaders are being called upon to show more compassion in the workplace in recent times as the global economy causes termination of employees and creates an insecure work environment. Frost's article is an exploration of what it means to be an effective leader in the aforementioned economic and organizational environment. Frost's article is summarized and assesed based on the current workplace environment.

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"Handling the hurt: a critical skill for leaders."
Peter J.. Frost, Ivey Business Journal Online, Jan - Feb.p1(6) (2005)

Summary and Critique
By Gyneth A. McAllister

Summary

The infliction of pain is part of the leadership function whether it occurs directly or indirectly. Frost proposes that leaders who are "... thoughtful, empathetic leaders can create an emotionally healthy and energized workplace. Such leaders know how to dissipate the toxins that demoralize and even tyrannize people. They also know how to do so while, at the same time, leading the company to achieve its business and social goals. They've got one of the most valuable skills a great leader can have."

Because leadership involves acting on imperfect knowledge, transformation of an organization or demanding greater effort on behalf of followers or taking a direction not supported by followers, the comfort zone of followers may be challenged. Followers may, as a result experience anger, disillusionment, frustration or fear. Leaders operating under pressure of time constraints may lose their sensitivity to the impact they have on others. Good leaders understand these dynamics and attempt to minimize the pain they can not avoid causing. When leaders handle follower pain effectively the creativity, inspiration and excitement evoked by the leader, in the follower can be preserved.

Frost purports that there is good pain and bad pain created by leaders. Good pain results in a sense in both the leader and followers that the emotional ...

Solution Summary

Though all leaders do not naturally have the skills to recognize or handle the pain of their subordinates Frost does shed light on a real need in the workplace. The dynamics between the leader, follower and situation elements of leadership can be fundamentally damaged if no care is taken to administer to damaged employees who have suffer due to situational or leadership actions. Frost's contention is summarized.

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