Our current work-from-home life has torn down the wall between our professional and personal lives. Recently, I was meeting over Zoom with a company’s vice president of operations when we were momentarily interrupted—not by technical difficulties or priority tasks, but rather by her son, who popped on the screen and whispered, “Could I have a hug?”

It was clear that our forced compartmentalization of work and life was ending and everyone is juggling a precarious work-life balance. The question now is, will we rebuild those walls between our personal and professional lives?

Empathy for employees’ personal situations is more pressing than ever. COVID-19 is changing people’s lives in very real ways, and the push toward patience, sensitivity, and kindness has had a particularly profound impact on command-and-control businesses. There’s no more room for the aggressive leadership practices of the Industrial Revolution; I believe we’re now on the brink of the “Compassion Revolution.”

I know this shift will be tough. I was once a type A leader who thought that compassion made me vulnerable. However, we can already see signs of the Compassion Revolution taking hold, even in job titles—ask Cory Custer, the “director of compassion” at Brighton Jones, or LinkedIn’s “head of mindfulness and compassion” programs, Scott Schute. If you’re ready to embrace the revolution, here’s how you can keep those walls down:

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