Developing compassion through storytelling

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time” Dalai Lama

Influencing upwards and sideways

You could easily imagine that compassion is a word that is used a lot in the NHS but sounds a bit strange on a building site, an instillation in the North Sea or a train track.

The first time I came across compassion as a word to describe an attitude was in a workforce engagement session for a large construction company. We were talking about how we would like to be approached and spoken to when having a safety conversation. It appeared again at a contractor conference for the same reason. It struck me that our work and the stories we tell allow people to use words that describe our needs as humans on a deeper and more personal level without feeling embarrassed or awkward in a work environment.

Human beings have told stories for as long as we have been around in order to make sense of our worlds and our relationships with each other. Using stories in order to develop compassionate organisations is something we need in all our working environments. As one of the participants at a Centrica conference last week said “We need to tell more personal stories in order to understand each other and behave with compassion towards each other.”

Tess Allen

tess@foruminteractive.co.uk

++44 (0) 7920 207732