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B-schools don't teach compassion

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September 06, 2005 11:58 IST

We live and work in a competitive, and shall I say, business-like environment. It's a dog-eat-dog world. People want to use others as steps in their climb to the pinnacle of success.

In this cutthroat environment most of us tend to forget two important emotional aspects of life -- compassion and the power of long-term relationships. People in business, in order to appear sharp and business-like (read: emotionally detached), are neglecting the feelings of their co-workers, colleagues, vendors, partners and bosses.

They have forgotten that the only way a team member delivers more than a 100 per cent is if he/she feels positive about his/her immediate environment.

Compassion towards fellow workers is the key to happy and emotionally satisfied team members. These emotionally satisfied colleagues will surprise you with their entrepreneurial thinking and execution.

The second aspect that people think that they are handling well but, in my opinion, are only paying lip service to, is nurturing relationships either between individuals or organisations.

Emotional Intelligence has a huge role to play in business success. But management education emphasises that emotions have no place in business relationships. I believe that if you can communicate your sincere intentions and follow them up with the right businesslike action, you will find it easier to cement business relationships.

The starting point of a number of job switches for key executives is when they believe their emotional needs are being neglected and their superiors and peers have stopped being compassionate in work situations.

Relationships are only starting points, though; the rest is driven by mutual interest. Sometimes even balancing interests is a tough act. If corporate leaders and managers are honest in a relationship and to the basis of the relationship, it will, more often than not, lead to right, ethical and profitable decisions. Compassion is again the glue that binds people in relationships.

It is high time B-schools started producing Masters in Compassion rather than executives who are Much Below Average (MBA) and lack in the above mentioned two aspects. If they learn the importance of emotions, the business domain will be a better place.

Anurag Batra is the managing director and editor-in-chief of media industry Web site

Anurag Batra