Compassion Culture

Be a part of the Compassion Culture at IU!

Why Promote a Culture of Compassion?

Compassion for ourselves and others nurtures our mental/emotional, physical, and social well-being — at work and beyond! And forget any ideas about compassion making you soft or weak. Compassion for ourselves and others actually strengthens resilience, boosts team dynamics, and improves leadership performance.

The Story Behind the Movement: Learn more

“When I think about compassion culture, especially in the workplace, you have to be understanding of the fact that people are experiencing imperfect lives, they take that with them and it impacts everything that they do. If you are supportive of them so that they can still make a difference in their job during these experiences, that’s what builds good work, keep people in their jobs, and that's what builds humanity.” 

 - Charissa Darland

Healthy IU Work + Life has gathered experts from across the university to present on a range of topics in the Compassion Culture Series. Click on a presentation below to learn more or register.

Summer 2022 Programs

  • Senior Care & Tough Conversations

    Tuesday, May 10
    Noon-1:00 p.m. (ET) / 11:00 a.m.-Noon (CT)

    Register now »

    Caring for aging loved ones can bring joys and challenges but may also require tough conversations that you’d prefer to avoid. Clear and proactive communication can make a huge difference in getting to the best outcome. Hear from national experts on aging and caregiving how to approach sensitive topics such as driving, finances, changes in memory and cognition, and end-of-life care. You’ll learn how to navigate these challenging conversations with your seniors, siblings, other family members, and even get advice about how best to approach your employer. The subjects may be tough, but the talk doesn’t have to be!

    This is presented by + LifeCare.

  • Experiencing Life with a Mental Health Condition

    Tuesday, May 24
    Noon-1:00 p.m. (ET) / 11:00 a.m.-Noon (CT)

    Register now »

    Millions of Americans are living with a mental health diagnosis and working against the challenges of societal stigmas. What can we do to create a more welcoming, inclusive, and compassionate environment for our friends and colleagues experiencing a mental health issue? In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, join Healthy IU Work + Life as we aim to decrease stigma, biases, and assumptions and raise awareness about mental health in the workplace. Hear IU employees’ personal stories, and their experiences navigating mental health at work and at home. IU Human Resources Employee Relations will share information on resources and support.

  • Building a Resilient Team Amid Uncertainty and Change: Addressing Anxiety at Work

    Thursday, June 30
    1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (ET) / Noon-3:00 p.m. (CT)

    Register now »

    Thursday, July 21
    1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (ET) / Noon-3:00 p.m. (CT)

    Register now »

    This virtual training shares strategies and resources for building an emotionally safe workplace and a resilient team. Leaders will learn how to spot rising anxiety levels among their team members; ease the concerns of employees who are overwhelmed or worried about the future and engage in effective conversations about emotions in uncertain times. This training will also illustrate how team members at all levels can work together to build an environment that fosters camaraderie, productivity, and calm.

    Testimonials: "This topic is one I think all of our leaders need to be trained on! It is critical for today's workforce and especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic."

    "Anxiety is something we all experience. There is no one who shouldn't take the course."

    "The skills I learned were very helpful and I think all employees whether in leadership or not could benefit from this."

    Note: This professional development opportunity is one 3-hour virtual session and requires the purchase of the book, Anxiety at Work. The book purchase, ranging from $15-$20 (tax and shipping included), will be charged to your department.

    Facilitators: Angela L. Reese, MSW, LSW, Work Life Analyst, Healthy IU, and Catherine Matthews, JD, Ph.D., Sr. Consultant, Talent and Organization Development, IU Human Resources

  • Suicide Awareness: Know the Behaviors, Help Save a Life

    Tuesday, July 19
    Noon-1:00 p.m. (ET) / 11:00 a.m.-Noon (CT)

    Register now »

    Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence and social isolation. The purpose of this training is to raise awareness of suicide and other serious emotional health concerns, and provide important information about getting help for someone who may be thinking about suicide.

    This is offered by Supportlinc, IU's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Past Program Recordings

  • Compassion Culture in the Workplace

    Session #1 Recording

    Session #2 Recording

    We are flooded regularly with messages about strife, suffering, and interpersonal conflict. What can you do to comfort and nurture yourself? And what can you do to contribute to a nurturing and compassionate work environment?

    The first session of this 2-session series about building and maintaining a culture of compassion in the workplace focus on defining "compassion" and introducing frameworks for compassionate living. The second session provides a space for reflecting, asking questions, and designing the next steps. 

    Program Facilitators: 

    Janice Bankert-Countryman, MA; Career Consultant and Senior Associate Faculty-IUPUI

    Charlie Johnson, MS; Director of Scholar Support Programs and Mindfulness-based Emotional Intelligence Instructor-IUPUI

  • Emotional Intelligence

    2-Part Series

    Healthy IU Work + Life teams up with IUHR's Talent & Org Development to bring you Emotional Intelligence training. Emotional Intelligence is an important component of building a "Compassion Culture" and maneuvering uncomfortable conversations.

    This workshop enhances your ability to know what you are feeling, what your emotions mean and how they may affect other people. You will gain a greater understanding of how to manage your emotions and personal and professional relationships. You will also learn how to apply Emotional Intelligence when participating in difficult or uncomfortable conversations.

    Program Facilitator: Catherine L. Matthews, J.D., Ph.D., Sr. Consultant, IUHR Talent & Org. Development

  • De-escalation

    Session #1 Recording

    Session #2 Recording


    This workshop training focuses on building skills to become effective at de-escalating and defusing emotional and stressful situations. This session focuses on understanding and managing your response to stress, understanding and managing the stress of others, and learning effective de-escalation strategies.

    Facilitator: Tiffany Lemons, MPA, Senior Organization Development Consultant, IU Human Resources

  • Supporting a Compassion Culture through Effective Conflict Resolution

    Listening with Our Eyes, Ears, and Heart (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This recorded session explores essential listening skills and practices for responding to conflict. We discuss attentive listening skills, then take a deeper five to examine both the process and mindset for listening with true empathy. Listening at the heart level involves a commitment to being present with others as they share their concerns and emotions about a conflict situation and the ability to demonstrate an understanding from their point of view.

    The Interpersonal Dynamics of Conflict: Understanding Conflict Modes (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This record session explores the five basic modes of behavior in which individuals engage when responding to conflict. We reflect on the conflict modes in which they typically engage and whether these modes are most effective when responding to conflict. We explore strategies and approaches for adopting different modes to improve effectiveness when addressing conflict and responding to the conflict mode behaviors of others.

    Mediating Conflicts for Yourself (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This session offers an opportunity to learn strategies, techniques, and skills that are needed to mediate interpersonal conflicts and ensure both you and the other person feel fully heard. The session covers skills and practices for confronting another person about a conflict situation without causing defensiveness – in yourself and the other person.

    Mediating Interpersonal and Workplace Conflicts (recording)
    PowerPoint Slides
    This session provides an overview of the five key stages for mediating conflict between individuals, including setting the stage, gathering information, framing issues, negotiating options, and nailing down the agreement. Learn introductory skills for mediating two-party interpersonal and workplace conflicts.
  • Mindful Parenting: How to Practice Mindfulness with Kids and Teens

    Mindful Parenting with Kids Recordings

    Mindful Parenting with Teens Recordings

    Learn simple, age-appropriate everyday ways to practice being mindful with your children. Mindfulness is the ability to notice what is happening in the present moment, and practicing mindfulness with kids helps develop skills of emotional and behavioral self-regulation and increases focused attention. Join Nellie Springston, M.Ed. Founder of Calma (Calm & Loving Minds Achieve) as she shares research-based strategies with you to practice with your kids.

    Program Facilitator: Nellie Springston, M.Ed

  • Small Worries to BIG Anxiety: Supporting Teens Through Big and Small Challenges

    2-Part Series

    Whether your teen experiences just a little bit of fear or a lot of big anxiety, it can feel overwhelming to know what to do to help. This 2-session series will share practical tips on how to help your teen with all types of worry and anxiety, with specific emphasis on how to talk through those anxious moments.

    Program Facilitator: Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP

  • Difficult Moments with Teens

    Being a teen is hard and parenting a teen can be difficult. They are concerned about being liked by their peers, doing well in school, and getting along with their families, all while going through physiological and physical changes. Dr. Beth Trammel is prepared to offer tips and answer questions regarding difficult moments you may experience with your teens. 

    Facilitator: Beth A. Trammell, Ph.D, HSSP, IU East Associate Professor of Psychology


  • Depression and Loss through the Teen Lens: Parenting Strategies for Better Tomorrows

    Workshop #1

    Workshop #2

    Workshop #3

    Question and Answers

    This past year has been one that has been filled with lots of loss, especially for many of our teens. For some, this may be the first experience with grief, which can seem really hard to navigate. This three-part series will share parenting strategies to help better understand the lens of teen grief, what it looks like, and how to help. We will explore specific signs for depression and suicide and when further intervention is needed. Join us to learn all about teen depression, loss, and grief.

    Program Facilitator: Beth Trammell, Ph.D., HSPP