Developing compassionate leadership through mindfulness

There is a widespread call to put compassion at the heart of how health care is both delivered and led, and strong evidence that compassion in health care leadership has significant impact on health care outcomes.

The creation of a positive organisational culture that promotes innovation and high quality has to have compassion as a central value and belief

Marcus Powell, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development

About this programme

NHS England looks at compassion through the ‘four lenses’ of: the self; the manager/leader; the team; and the organisation, and concludes that creating a culture in which compassion can flourish is a complex issue.

The King’s Fund is introducing a programme with a particular focus on the first two lenses – the self and the manager/leader – to help you to cultivate compassion in your leadership style.

Starting with the self, the programme includes mindfulness; neuroscience; emotional intelligence and elements of resilience. Participants will be introduced to a number of strategies and practices to take back to their own team and organisation.

Who is it for?

This programme has been designed for those leading in complex systems and uncertain environments who want to support and sustain cultures of compassion.

How will you benefit from this programme?

This programme will help you to develop your leadership practice, and in particular to:

  • cultivate a culture of care and strengthen your ability to respond with compassion in difficult situations
  • be more mentally and emotionally present in your leadership role
  • develop your own mindfulness practice
  • develop more effective and genuine relationships
  • strengthen your emotional intelligence
  • learn feedback methods that can be used in one-to-one and team situations to strengthen collaboration.

What will you do on this programme?

The programme is made up of four modules, each a month apart, two of which are residential. It integrates mindfulness practices with current and future approaches to leadership.

Professor Michael West, who has published extensively on cultures of compassion in health care, and Dr Jonty Heaversedge, Southwark CCG chair and author of The Mindful Manifesto, will be keynote speakers on the programme.

You will be supported to put these skills into practice in between sessions through access to a range of online materials, including an app. You will also form groups with your peers with whom you will maintain contact between modules (with at least one face-to-face session).

You will be working in small groups in between modules, focusing on the real work-based situations that you encounter.

Further reading

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness practice or compassionate leadership we recommend the following: