08/07/2013 03:29 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2013

Compassion and Business: LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner Speaks Up

It is one thing to hear the importance of compassion expressed from people like the Dalai Lama and other religious leaders, but it is often seen by business people as a nice extra, and not necessarily core to their lives.

For LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, it is different.

At the annual Wisdom 2.0 Summit that I organize, he emphasized the need of this for managers.

"The tendency will be to expect people to do things the way you do them," he said, "It's very natural, and it's not the right way to approach it. You need to take a moment to manage compassionately, put yourself in their shoes, and understand why they're coming with what they come with."

This need continues, however, far beyond the workplace. When asked about whether compassion could be taught to kids in schools, he responded:

Compassion can be taught. It not only can it be taught, it should be taught. And it should be required in our curriculum and it should be a part of the syllabus... It should be taught with same sense of urgency and gravitas as say, math skills or verbal skills. And if you think about it, what could be more important as legacy to leave this generation of children than the ability to be compassionate?

In a digital world where it is easier than ever to get in a rush and not make full contact with the people in our lives, this type of engagement and attunement is fundamental to our happiness and the health of our society. This effort is starting to make its way into both grade schools and business schools, as more people realize that how we relate to one another is fundamental to the well-being of our kids, our family, our business and our society.

Living compassionately is certainly no easy endeavor, yet it is refreshing to see more business leaders like Jeff Weiner speak to this need and dimension.

Soren Gordhamer is the organizer of Wisdom 2.0.

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