Compassion for the Agile Leader With Wendy-Ann Smith – Executive Summary

Recording: Compassion for the Agile Leader with Ann-Smith


Wendy-Ann Smith, Psychologist, Coach, Psychologist, Trainer and Facilitator, Author of Positive Coaching Psychology in the Workplace


Fatima Hussain, Psychologist, and Senior Research Analyst, uExcelerate


The challenges of Covid have highlighted the need for leaders to engage their teams differently while remaining on course towards the team and organizational objectives. The shift has required the Leader to acknowledge and engage the Whole Person,  not just the task-related person. Empathy, Compassion, and Mindset are key in creating and engaging workplace relationships while remaining decisive when the situation requires it. Wendy-Ann Smith,  Coach, Psychologist, Trainer, and Facilitator tells us more about compassion for the agile leader.


Wendy-Ann Smith tells us about the challenges of leadership, the definition of compassion, why leaders hesitate to show compassion and the kinds of conversations/practices leaders need to have in order to show more compassion.

Key Takeaways

The Main Challenges Leaders Face

The four challenges for a leader include collaboration, control, creativity, and competitiveness. Leaders, who are often decision makers, have to work across different spaces and with the onset of the Pandemic, these leaders found themselves struggling with the same problems as their teammates. They were stuck at home and had to manage their work life and home life and many found this to be very constricting.

Leaders developed a greater awareness around the needs of their teammates from a humane perspective rather than just a task perspective. 

They had to learn how to marry their team’s objectives with their own objectives and still meet the company’s goals. There was a need to create stronger relationships. The way to strengthen these relationships is by increasing leaders’ emotional intelligence, empathy, and the way they think about things – becoming more flexible or agile both emotionally and cognitively.

Definition of Compassion:

Compassion means supporting everyone in the workplace, including those who are struggling but also those who are doing well. Fundamental to that, is building good relationships with those people and recognizing what their needs are.

The thing that makes compassion different is that action is taken on those needs and finding a way to meet those needs. 

What makes compassion difficult to demonstrate in the Workplace?

Compassionate leadership during disruption or crises needs to be sustained and maintained over time and requires the leader to be vulnerable. Vulnerability and humane leadership allow connections to grow stronger and will help leaders see their teams as the humans that they are and not just task-related robots.

Humanity needs to come front and center in business decisions and when companies can marry humanity and business objectives they will find much stronger outcomes.

What should compassion look like for a leader?

We must look inward and practice self-compassion. Leaders need to put themselves in their teams’ shoes, which is something they were forced to do during the pandemic, but it should become something leaders actively strive for in everyday situations.

 How can we be compassionate with other people if we are not compassionate with ourselves?

The Role of Compassion in the Great Resignation

Compassion plays a part through all levels of the Great Resignation. People are seeking more meaning along with more income in their job roles. People want to enjoy what they are doing. People do not have tolerance for rude, authoritative leaders anymore.

How can Leaders build Compassion in their Workplace?

We need to look at compassion across the whole system. Leaders can practice compassion in the following ways:

  • Start by being compassionate towards ourselves. Even leaders make mistakes. Even decision-makers can make incorrect decisions.
  •  Imbibing a culture of learning rather than blame.
  • Taking time to check in with yourself and your team.
  • Celebrate the successes. Build relationships and recognize everyone for their contributions.
  • Keep an inquiring mind, and find out what peoples’ needs are.
  • Recognize a need, appreciate the need, empathize with the need and take action on the need.

uExcelerate – a Digital Leadership Coaching Platform

uExcelerate can help you seamlessly integrate a coaching culture within your organization. Whether you want to develop your coaches internally or hire them externally, uExcelerate can be a one-stop solution for all your coaching needs.

uExcelerate is a SaaS platform enabling organizations to scale coaching and build sustainable coaching cultures to foster personalized talent development for their employees.

The platform offers holistic, customized solutions to democratize your coaching requirements for modern organizations in two ways:

The Coaching Platform: For your internal coaching requirements, our platform enables organizations to launch their on-demand end-to-end coaching programs by onboarding your Manager or Leaders as Internal Coaches and team members as Coachees, thereby building a coaching culture within the organization.

It allows you to build and scale up the coaching practice to all levels of your organization and helps you build coaching capabilities within the organization. Not only that, we can also help you build your internal coaching capabilities with ease.

The platform functionality includes:

  • Cloud-Based AI Coaching Platform: Helps you create your own on-demand e-coaching engagements. Designed to manage your employee coaching lifecycle and allow easy integration of a coaching culture in your organization.
  • Democratize Coaching: uExcelerate democratizes coaching by offering multiple types of coaching options such as one-on-one coaching, team coaching, and group coaching.
  • Intuitive Features: Easy Set up; Multiple Program Management; On-board Internal Coaches and employees; Digital Coaching tools, Session Planning & Scheduling; Integrated live video sessions; Action Planning & Goal Setting Scalable and location agnostic, Data Analytics and Reports
  • The Coach Marketplace: uExcelerate provides access to a curated coach marketplace with over a hundred coaches from around the world for you to choose from. All the coaches on the platform are experienced, certified, and specialized in their fields of knowledge.

The Coaching Marketplace: For your external coaching requirements, our platform connects organizations to a pool of experienced & certified external Coaches from our curated marketplace that enables employees to achieve their personalized transformation, leading toward tangible organizational goals.

So if you or the people in your organization are looking for a niche/specific coaching need,  wherein internal coaches may not be suitable, you can use our marketplace of 200 coaches to get the right-fit coach that will work for you and your organization.

  • Our AI-powered Coach–Coachee Matching platform helps you find and choose the coach that fits your needs best.
  • All the coaches on the platform are experienced, certified, and specialized in their fields of knowledge.
  •  All the coaches are certified from reputed organizations, with a minimum of 5 years of leadership experience in their field of work and at least 500 coaching hours under their belt.
  • The coaches are selected to ensure that they can help you with all your problems and help you grow into a better version of yourself.

Wendy-Ann is the lead editor of Positive Psychology  Coaching in the  Workplace (2021) and The  Ethical  Coaches’ Handbook:  A  Guide to  Developing  Ethical  Maturity in  Practice (forthcoming). She holds virtual groups for coaches who wish to nourish themselves and their coaching with the understanding and application of positive and coaching psychology. Wendy-Ann regularly coaches a small number of one-to-one clients. She creates and delivers lectures, training, and coaching at several universities in France and internationally. Her into crest is in enhancing coaches’ development and practice with positive psychology, coaching psychology, and ethics in practice.

Check out Wendy-Ann’s book, Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace by clicking on it below.