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While everyone understands the importance of compassion, understanding and empathy, a recent study by the Meetings Industry Association (mia) and the organisational development and leadership expert Roffey Park Institute suggest these qualities are often lacking in the events industry.

Using feedback from focus groups and an online survey the researchers found that 75% of people in the events industry had been managed by someone they considered lacking in compassion. 78% also said they had seen missed opportunities for compassion.

There may be several reasons behind this lack of compassion. 35% admitted that they themselves had missed an opportunity to show compassion, saying they believed showing this emotion was unprofessional. 68% suggested that it was because they were feeling too overburdened to care.

With technology becoming an increasing part of the events held in unique conference venues, it is also suggested that this could be behind the lack of compassion. With emails often replacing phone calls and physical meetings, this is removing the human touch from professional interactions. Another factor may be the heavy workload of events professionals, with many simply too busy to show empathy for their colleagues.

According to Michael Jenkins, CEO of Roffey Park Institute, this is an issue which needs to be addressed.

Our survey results suggest that the sector both wants and needs more compassion. Fortunately, the survey also reveals strong support for building more compassionate organisations, particularly at a time when employees and managers alike see that we are heading into a period of increasing uncertainty and volatility.

Although workloads are heavy, the benefits of showing compassion to colleagues can be immense and understanding is something everyone needs at certain times.

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