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Tara McCool: Compassionate Leadership Tougher Than You Think

Episode 40

About Tara McCool: She began her career in broadcasting and journalism which was where she first learned about the importance of bringing compassion to the workplace. From devastated interviewees to nervous live guests, she felt that compassion needed to be present to help the person feel safe and for the interview to be successful.

Over 20 years later, when she transitioned to corporate and worked her way to an executive role, leading human resources and communications, compassion was once again a critical component to her success.

She believed self-compassion and compassion for others is a skill that must be developed to be a truly aware and impactful leader. After 10 years of coaching leaders and employees through many challenging situations, Tara decided to focus solely on leadership awareness through her own consulting company.

She believes that most leaders have great intentions and want their people to be happy. Many are just aren’t aware that their actions or inactions are actually making people miserable. With a little guidance, leaders can make small changes that may have a big impact on the overall happiness and performance of their team.


In this episode, Jordan and Tara discuss:

  • The importance of compassion in the workplace, especially in leaders, and how you can develop compassion.

  • The true meaning of compassion - alleviate the suffering without coddling.

  • Honesty and being clear in giving feedback about what people could be doing wrong.

  • How you can accept negative feedback, wherever you are coming from.

Key Takeaways

  • A compassionate leader notices when a team member is in distress, they take action to get them through it. Awareness is key in being a compassionate leader.

  • Surround yourself with people who will be honest and direct with you when you’re not being a good leader.

  • Compassionate leadership essentials: have the strength to be vulnerable, have the strength, to be honest, build a foundation of trust, be willing to have tough conversations when needed.

  • Giving honest feedback is a gift that you give to someone. It’s your responsibility as a leader and a teammate to provide clarity and accountability to people that need it in the workplace.

“A leader who thinks only about themselves is not going to garner the same amount of respect as a leader who’s truly thinking about their team at all times."— Tara McCool

Connect with Tara McCool :

Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

Connect with Jordan Goldrich: 

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