10 Personal Leadership Tips on How to Be Unconditionally Compassionate

personal leadership compassion


“One of those blessings was each day, I had the opportunity to get better and better at being unconditionally compassionate.’

I’ve learned, when the purpose and meaningfulness are large enough – our compassion doesn’t need boundaries of a clock – nor of personal energy tank levels.  When the meaningfulness and love are there; empathy and compassion flows freely.

I used to believe it was very difficult to attempt to give empathy if my self-empathy was low or depleted and while there is still truth in that statement, what I also believe is that unconditional compassion is possible when you are “filled with love”.  I have found that LOVE topped my empathy tank instantly, and my level of personal presence soared.

Even in the face of what previously might have been overwhelmingly unfaceable stuff, I now believe it’s possible to be compassionate without limits.

Here are 10 tips to help you leverage love to get better at being unconditionally compassionate:

  1. Listen to Love and Express with Love.   The voice of love is a calm and soothing voice.  It’s not the hurtful things people might when they are hurting.  It’s not the judgements or criticisms that may come towards you.   Key – is to validate your wholeness rather than looking outside yourself for validation of the magnificent being you are. When you express with Love, you say everything that needs to be said from Love.  People need to hear your love – feeling it is one thing – expressing it is equally important.  And I found they just might need to hear what you have to say.  Even if it’s something simple as “It’s OK to go, Dad, we’ll be OK”.
  2. Allow instead of control.  When you allow options and choices to flow with ease, things flow.  “Love going with the flow”. It leaves you in the most flexible position to be able to respond to what you witness.
  3. Self-manage.   Feel your emotions and at the same time you do it for yourself you have the opportunity to help the other to self-manage too.  The better the energy of the emotions can flow – the more intimacy and authenticity gets to be present between you and another.
  4. Jettison any judgements you may find yourself collecting.  Judgement is just another way of separating yourself from Awareness and Truth.  Remember we are ONE.
  5. Pity nothing.  Pitying puts you on a different level than the one you are serving.  Learn to love seeing yourself as one with them.
  6. Serve instead of manage.  Serving takes into account the wishes, hopes, capacity and needs of the other.  Managing implies you need to control behaviours to reach an intended outcome.   Sometimes being in service is the gift you give.
  7. Have a cause yet don’t get crippled by it.  When a loved cause becomes a burden – compassion suffers.  It takes a light connection to a cause to be able to embrace it fully & continually.
  8. Forgive.  Forgive them and yourself.  Everyone does the very best they can with what resourcefulness they have at any given moment. See them with LOVE.
  9. Laugh lots. Laughter helps keep things light.  Even the densest of situations can be lightened up with a little congruent laughter.
  10. Stay in the present moment.  Letting your mind drift to the past or to what might be coming next can either get you lost in stories or worry.   Remember fear can’t live in the present moment.


This article was a result of my time giving at-home-complex-palliative care for my 82-year-old father who had end-stage bone cancer.

Dad had a terrible time of it – and while that was true, it was also true there were many blessings and a legacy of love that came from sharing this experience with him.

Note:Dad I’ve written these 10 tips in the context of caregiving – yet believe they can be universally useful.   Test them out.   Identify a scenario where you feel you could be better at being unconditionally compassionate – and see if you feel these tips are helpful.

Have additional tips? Leave a comment to share.

Looking for another perspective of compassion?  Have a listen in on Joan Hyatt’s TED talk on compassion and empathy – It is moving and so accurate a description: http://www.ted.com/talks/joan_halifax.html

Inspire Yourself – 5 Steps to Your Own Personal Leadership Metaphor

Inspire Yourself with NaturePersonal leadership has a lot to do with identifying needs and providing solutions.   When we identify needs for ourselves and others and then provide solutions to those needs.  We lead the way forward.

There are many structures you can use to aid in yourself on your self leadership development plan or path.  A favourite can be to use metaphor as inspiration.

One of my favourite is to use ‘nature’ in a metaphor as a structure for inspiration that you can often review.

Especially useful if you find yourself in an exhaustion cycle; a nature metaphor can reconnect you with something bigger when you are not feeling that way yourself.

  • As an example, here is my own personal nature-based metaphor:
    “I am global wind, a soft gentle breeze, billowing awareness through creative communication so you can first inspire, then exhale – peace.”

In my personal metaphor, the soft gentle breeze describes my gentle nature and delivery. The fact the wind is global reminds me to extend my reach and to remember we are all part of the global ONE – and that awareness is my solution to the illusions of separateness that I see as the pain in this world.

 “Creating my personal nature-based metaphor was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself”

My own metaphor is both representative of my life purpose and a reminder of what is most essential in my life.  It has evolved over the past 10 years – yet it began with just a few simple steps.

The idea is a simple one. It is to creatively combine – elements of who you are, who you wish to be and what you experience, as needed in the world into an inspirational statement that moves you to focused committed action.
If you have the thought ” I want to get this perfect”,  just know – it is a practice that evolves over time – and you don’t need to get things “perfect” right out of the gate. It’s a beginning – and a beginning that can be extremely useful – and – that can evolve over time.
Your statement can be as literal or as deep as you create it – and it can be anything from a simple touch stone or if you are like me, it can be become such an integral part of your life; you can use it as criteria for decision making for your investment of time, money and resources.

My own metaphor still moves me as I repeat it. It moves me, because within it – is the solution to the pain I witness in the world, and also within it – is the essence of me.
 Are you ready to craft a metaphor statement that could be a touch stone for yourself?

Here is how to create your personal leadership metaphor:

  1. Identify a solution or outcome that is desperately needed either in the world or your community. Understanding what has been missing, or the pain you have witnessed is often a good starting point for identifying a solution. It’s more than common that folks can make awareness of pain – a purpose. Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly, has described this awareness of what is missing in the world like a “vacuum” where a real void has been created.
    Often we are each our own best knower of where the vacuum has been – because we have experienced it. And this void often is a wonderful space to in which to place your solution.
  2. Identify an element in nature that inspires you. An element that has the energies of who you wish yourself to be. Whether it is a rock, fire, water, tree, mountain or any other element in nature. Trust your intuition to choose it.
  3. Identify the qualities within that element that inspires you. This is the fun part. Once you have chosen your nature element. Play with the qualities a little – describe them, write them out. For example a mountain may have expansive perspective, a solid grounding, a passion within waiting to burst… you get the idea.
  4. Identify who it is that will benefit from your solution. Is it all of mankind? Is it children? Is it our leaders? Who in your community would benefit?
  5. Identify what they will then be able to do as a result of consuming or learning of your solution. This is what makes it very meaningful.

Then put it all together… the formula goes like this:
I am a _____2_____, Who _______3_________, Who helps _____4_______ to _____1______ so that they may _____5_______.”

Don’t worry about getting it perfect; it will evolve over time.

The idea is to make a connection with the pattern of who you are and what you want to offer the world – and to connect THAT to something bigger in nature and then to bring all that together in service of others.
Creating a personal metaphor statement that reminds you of your own greatness and how you can serve the world can be a way to self-inspire. It doesn’t need to be a nature one …. the real key is it is something that inspires you.

I hope you enjoy creating your own personal metaphor and that you find it as resourceful as I do and as others do.