“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

by Krishna Kumar,BTME, MBA, BCC, President – IAC



 “Compassion is the radicalism of our time,” said the Dalai Lama and inspired by his words in October of last year I wrote that coaching might be the perfect vehicle to offer “Compassionate Leadership” to our turbulent world.

 A simplified definition of compassion is what happens when you encounter another person suffering, go beyond your feelings of empathy or altruism, and step forward to help alleviate that suffering. Interestingly, it is a topic that is now being actively researched in-depth by psychologists and neuroscientists around the world. Information about compassion is widely available in numerous research papers on the ‘science of well-being and happiness’

(positive psychology), presentations made at global conferences and work by leading Universities (Stanford, Berkeley). They add to the wealth of wisdom passed down through the ages by spiritual leaders and philosophers from the East and the West, providing us with an eclectic mix to devour, develop and act upon.

 Going beyond how can coaches, using the power to influence ourselves, our clients and our social environment encourage and develop the practice of compassion?

 Practicing compassion has deep connections with training in mindfulness and meditation. It is proven method to foster cooperative learning in schools by encouraging cooperation over competition. In coaching, we might expand our coaching skills by introducing the elements of compassion. To illustrate, in coaching conversations we often need to navigate through a complex web of perceptions that our client has shared, which when it clashes with our own might defeat the traditional listening techniques. On such occasions, the famous Buddhist monk, Thich Naht Hanh, mentions using compassionate deep listening to work through another person’s perceptions and help them find resolution and healing.

 At the IAC we remain committed to our mission to “Expand the Path to Coaching Mastery” and have constituted a Research and Collaboration Portfolio, headed our Governing Board colleagues, Dr. Luis Gaviria and Mr. Philip Beddows, to work towards this objective. In the following months, we plan to conduct a series of Coaching Master Classes, which will cover many exciting topics, such as the application of the Neurosciences in coaching and using Compassion in Coaching. We encourage the IAC community to actively join and participate in these Master Classes.

As always, I will be delighted to know your thoughts and ideas. Please connect with me at president@certifiedcoach.org.


With appreciation,

Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar is the Founder-Director of the Intrad School of Executive Coaching (ISEC) and a pioneer in the sphere of Leadership and Executive Coaching in India. His firm belief that coaching is the best way to learn has carried him through a varied learning journey over three decades that included donning the hats of a corporate executive, an entrepreneur, a tennis coach, a B-school professor, independent Board member and an Executive Coach. The journey continues… 
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