Developing compassionate leadership through mindfulness

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Compassionate leadership means paying close attention to all staff and really understanding the situations they face. Then responding empathetically and taking thoughtful and appropriate action to help. Evidence from high-performing health systems show that compassionate and inclusive leadership behaviours create cultures where people can deliver sustainable quality and efficiency improvements quickly. NHS Improvement has highlighted compassionate leadership as one of the five conditions it is seeking to create in its new national framework Developing people: improving care.

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.

This programme has 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.
    This programme provides a perfect balance of mastering mindful practice and applying this to leadership across teams, organisations and systems. As a result I've been able to introduce mindful practice to the work environment. My team have really felt a positive difference, and small changes I have introduced as a result of the learning on the programme, are making a big difference. The NHS environment is pretty chaotic just now, and being grounded, focused and modelling positive behaviours, is more important than ever. I would not hesitate to recommend it.
    Head of Community Health Services in an integrated community and mental health services trust.

    Read an interview with Fiona Greenfield, an experienced nurse, on how she has benefited from the programme

    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.

    Register your interest

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