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Durham University

Organisation Development

Compassionate Leadership


There might have been a time when compassion was viewed as a weakness in the workplace – a time when society looked to the ‘hero leader.’ Echoes of this leadership thinking still reverberate in many institutions, however, these times of global disruption call for something more. Compassion is no longer a feel-good add-on or an inconvenience in your busy day. It is a requirement in modern workplaces in order to navigate complexity, embrace uncertainty and lead into the emerging future. And contrary to some beliefs (perhaps fuelled by self-protection and fear?) truly compassionate individuals are often the most skilled at having courageous conversations, leading with purpose and enabling innovation and change.

This workshop will challenge assumptions about what we actually mean by leadership (who are the leaders anyway?) and defining compassion. With this perspective we’ll explore and practice the core skills of listening and empathy. These skills are often considered as something we ‘do to’ others, so we’ll also turn the spotlight back on ourselves and consider the provocation that compassionate leadership starts with the self.


The external trainer and coach, Heather Munroe will deliver via a workshop webinar. It will be a highly practical / participatory session where you will be working with colleagues from across the University via Zoom and an invite will be sent out prior to the session

Who is the Course suitable for?

Managers wishing to develop their listening and empathy skills.


3 hours (with breaks).

Which Leadership Attributes / Job Families Core Skills / Realising Your Potential Approach Behaviours are supported by this course?