Compassionate Leader Program

Become the leader you always wanted to have

Leaders, coaches and facilitators of teams and organizations face challenging times. On the one hand there is the expectation of improved results, on the other hand more attention to the humane side of work (like a meaningful job in a stimulating environment).

Lots of company owners, managers, (agile) coaches, product owners, scrum masters, chapter/tribe/squad leads and other facilitators ended up in a leadership or coaching role without a specific training or guidance.

When they are faced with personal and interpersonal tensions they often don’t know how to deal with them and support others in an optimal way.

These are a few examples that show up when changes occur, especially (but not only) in agile or self-organizing environments:

  • Employees revert to old patterns, old ways of working and old ways of taking decisions.
  • Employees have a hard time with self-organization or taking up more responsibilities.
  • There is a need for more communication, but employees don’t know how to do this in the right way. Often they fall in extremes: become silent or dominant. In both cases the connection that is necessary for constructive solutions is absent.
  • Employees are confronted with themselves and get stressed about it.
  • There is little experience with facilitating and coaching teams regarding self-organization and address maturity.
  • Old structures are still in play like old ways of reporting from team members to the manager or vice versa. Often both parties don’t know how to change this pattern or to discuss it in a proper way.

So, it is important to be able to solve these tensions. In a way that doesn’t create extra ones. Consequently, the vibe of an individual or a team rises.

That is the focus of the Compassionate Leader Program.

For more insights in the three kinds of tension and the four different vibes, see Our Approach

Transforming tensions using the D.U.E.T. process

In the Compassionate Leader Program the participants first learn techniques to solve interpersonal, practical and personal tensions. Then they learn how to transform the root or the cause. The result? Better results and more job satisfaction.

We use the four-step D.U.E.T. process to do this. The D.U.E.T. process consists of a set of short, but powerful techniques that are designed to transform the particular tension at hand and if necessary its root.

These are the four steps:

  • Detect and face the tension.
  • Understand and solve the tension.
  • Embrace and transform the root of the tension.
  • Take action.

For all techniques there is special attention to:

  • Incorporating safety and security in order to avoid the creation of new tensions.
  • Short and powerful techniques that can be applied in any situation and are hence compatible with any organization model.
  • Applicability for everybody (in other words, there is no need for a coaching background).

On this page you can read which problems are solved by each of the techniques of the D.U.E.T. process and which results you can expect.

Facilitation: Compassionate Leadership

The way of facilitating change projects or solving tensions has a huge impact on the result. Together with the vibe of the facilitator.

We call the way of facilitating that produces the best results Compassionate Leadership.

Compassionate Leadership has many aspects. These are but a few of them:

  • Focus on offering both safety and support.
    • In the negative and neutral vibe this means creating a comfort zone.
    • In the positive and inspiring vibe this means challenging someone to leave their comfort zone.
  • Make a distinction between role and human being:
    • Difference in role or function
    • Equivalent as human beings
  • Don’t adopt the emotions of other people and don’t project your own emotions on them.

Our definition of Compassionate Leadership is:

“The ability to take yourself, individuals, teams and organizations

to a higher level of performance and well-being (= a higher vibe)

in a safe and stimulating way when tensions occur.”

So, it is not a new style of leadership that replaces other styles, but a dimension that is added. The leadership style that is most open for it, is “servant leadership”. By the way, this is the style that is pursued in most agile and self-organizing teams.

Or what we sometimes say: Compassionate Leadership ensures that no extra tensions are created while solving one.

This means that the leader, (agile) coach, scrum master or other facilitator knows how to deal with tensions and that their own vibe is high enough.

Compassionate Leader Pathway

Besides not knowing the right techniques to solve tensions, the three most important reasons why leaders, (agile) coaches, scrum masters, chapter/squad/tribe leads and other facilitators don’t always act in a compassionate way:

  • There are too many distractions, too many situations and too many people that beg for their attention, including several that give them stress.
  • There are hidden differences between them and other people that create misunderstandings and keep them away from their strength.
  • There are protective patterns in their lives that keep them from being the most effective, efficient and inspiring leader they can be.

To solve this, we have developed the Compassionate Leader Program based on the Compassionate Leader Pathway that deals with these three reasons step by step (in 3 x 3 steps to be precise).

We use a.o. the short and powerful techniques of the D.U.E.T. model to increase the compassionate mindset and attitude. At the same time the participants learn how to apply these techniques with their own teams.


After the Compassionate Leader Program you are able to apply the techniques of the D.U.E.T. process. This means that you will be able to:

  • Detect the vibe of an individual or team using the Vibe Assessment.
  • Perform the right interventions taking the vibe into account.
  • Calm down someone who feels limited, disadvantaged, not heard or not seen and show them new hopeful perspectives.
  • Address practical problems in a way that stays away from blaming others and motivates the people involved to work towards a solution. And facilitate others to use this approach amongst them.
  • Facilitate taking decisions in a fast and constructive way with buy-in from all people involved.
  • Support someone who experiences stress to get back into their personal power.
  • Mentor people in seeing the positive qualities behind negative behavior. This increases understanding, boosts morale and strengthens cooperation.
  • Detect patterns that cause conflicts between people. And transform them in supportive patterns that foster job satisfaction (and results).
  • Discover blind spots and shadow sides that block a harmonious way of working together. And assist others in doing this for themselves as well.
  • Express yourself in a way that your needs and concerns are heard by others. And teach them how to do that themselves.
  • Support someone to discover their needs or concerns that are hidden below blaming, complaining or other negative behavior so they can (re)contribute to a positive and constructive collaboration.
  • Communicate with others in a way that solves more tensions than create new ones.

You will also be able to:

  • Detect where you are a bottleneck for yourself, your team or your organization.
  • Clearly see your own limiting patterns, blind spots and shadow sides.
  • Transform those barriers so you can be a support and catalyst in your organization instead of a bottleneck for your own potential, that of the team or the organization.
  • Approach every tension that arises in yourself or your team with a compassionate attitude.
  • Find your own “secure bases” that you can fall back in difficult situations.
  • Create psychological safety for yourself and your team so there is room to share wat is really going on instead of pretending and working on the wrong things.
  • Detect when someone needs more safety and support and when they need more encouragement to take a risk.
  • Feel more compassion for yourself and others. This allows you to bring yourself and your team to a higher level of performance and well-being.
  • Experience more freedom: live more from your own values, with less restrictions from others, in a more relaxed and fulfilled way.

For whom

The Compassionate Leader Program is created for:

  • Leaders, change/transformation managers and product owners.
  • (Agile) coaches, trainers, scrum masters, happiness officers, project managers and others who facilitate individuals or teams.


The Compassionate Leader Program consists of four parts:

  1. A program for personal development following the Compassionate Leader Pathway
  2. Learning the techniques of the D.U.E.T. model
  3. Personal coaching
  4. Sharing of experiences (online and offline intervision / peer-to-peer feedback)

Logistically this means:

  • Small group: 4 to 12 participants
  • 3 x 2 days residential (all inclusive)
  • 2 personal coaching sessions
  • 4 x 1 day live with intervision / peer-to-peer feedback and practice moments (not mandatory)
  • Access to the online Training Center
  • Access to the private LinkedIn group

Facilitator: Jan Vermeiren, founder of The Compassionate Leader and author of the book “The Compassionate Leader – How to Create Space for an Inspiring Vibe”.

Tuition fee (excl. VAT): 4.500 euro.

Flemish companies can use the KMO Portefeuille (subsidies of the Flemish government). This means:

  • Small enterprise (30% subsidy): 3.300 euro
  • Medium enterprise (20% subsidy): 3.700 euro

If you are interested in the Compassionate Leader Program, you can find the dates of the next open program in the calendar.

If you only want to learn the techniques of the D.U.E.T. model, there is the Raise the Vibe Program. Are you not sure yet, contact us or first participate in a one day Compassionate Leader & Facilitator Experience.

To make it easy, we have created this short comparison of our open programs.

In Company or Individual Program

Besides the Compassionate Leader Program as described above, we can also create a variant geared towards the leaders, coaches or team members in your organization. Both in group and individually.

Contact us to discuss the best approach for your situation.

For our open programs we work together with Be The Wellbeing.