1809 – Understanding Compassionate Business with Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Training Consultant of Human Oriented Enterprise, Bruno Cignacco.

Cignacco Wide

Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco emphasized the transformative power of compassion in the workplace. He shared how a compassionate work environment increases employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. When team members feel valued and supported, they are likelier to contribute their best work and collaborate effectively.

A particularly striking point Dr. Cignacco made was about the detrimental effects of fear in the workplace. Fear-based management can stifle creativity, hinder communication, and ultimately damage the company's culture and success.

In contrast, fostering psychological safety allows employees to express their ideas and concerns without fearing negative repercussions, leading to a more innovative and resilient organization.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Importance of compassionate business practices
  • Impact on the workplace and the world
  • Building strong, long-lasting relationships with stakeholders
  • Nurturing relationships through generosity, gratitude, and support
  • Negative impact of fear in the workplace
  • Creating a work environment with psychological safety

About Bruno Cignacco:

Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco is a seasoned consultant and international business leader focusing on human-oriented training and compassionate corporate practices. As the founder of a consultancy organization, he is dedicated to assisting companies in achieving both profitability and positive societal impact.

With extensive experience in international business, Dr. Cignacco facilitates accessible international trade transactions for diverse companies. His expertise spans various subjects, including social and relationship marketing, negotiation, customer service, and communication skills, which he imparts to hundreds of companies globally.

As an accomplished international speaker and best-selling author translated into multiple languages, Dr. Cignacco's books have enlightened a global readership.

With nearly two decades as a university lecturer and a Senior Fellow at the Higher Education Academy, he shares his knowledge and researches social business and marketing. His impactful sessions have influenced thousands of students, entrepreneurs, and executives worldwide.

About Human Oriented Enterprise:

The Human Oriented Enterprise distinguishes itself through a profound commitment to core values such as compassion, kindness, and transparency. With a global footprint and extensive experience advising companies and training individuals worldwide, their unique services prioritize and enrich the human aspect of work and business activities.

Founded by Dr Bruno Roque Cignacco, a seasoned professional with over two decades of supporting diverse companies globally, he brings a wealth of experience from teaching at universities, training businesses, and authoring acclaimed business books in multiple languages.

As a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and a correspondent Association of Events Managers member, Dr. Cignacco's expertise extends to international trade, marketing, and personal development.

His impactful talks, seminars, and conferences across various countries underscore his mastery as a Master Life Coach and NLP practitioner, further enhancing the holistic approach of the Human Oriented Enterprise.

Tweetable Moments:

11:28 – “The first question for a manager or a business leader should be: Is there any fear in this workplace?”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Human Oriented Enterprise website at

Check out Human Oriented Enterprise on LinkedIn at

Check out Bruno Cignacco on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, doctor. Bruno. Significa. Uh, doctor Bruno, you are the author of the book the Art of Compassionate Business. You're a consultant, TEDx speaker, lecturer and university professor. Well, Doctor Bruno, it's great to have you on the show.

Dr. Bruno (00:01:13) - Thank you very much. It's an honor to be here.

Dr. Bruno (00:01:15) - Thank you very much.

Josh (00:01:17) - Yeah, yeah. Well, tell me a bit about the work that you do today and kind of the impact that you have in the world.

Dr. Bruno (00:01:22) - Thank you for the question. Yes, I'm a consultant. I have been delivering consultancy services for approximately 30 years. And over the last few years we have been training companies and also advising companies on what we call compassionate business. My latest research, my latest book is on compassionate business, which implies not only focusing on the traditional aspect of business, for example, strategy, tactics, positioning, but also on what we call the relational aspect of business how to build a strong, long lasting relationship with different stakeholders, internal stakeholders such as employees and management, and external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, community members and our research estates is that when you have a strong, long lasting relationship with these stakeholders, the key performance indicators profitability, productivity, market share and others tend to go up instead when these relationships tend to be weak or tend to be based on what we call win lose agreements, this means that the company wins and the customer loses.

Dr. Bruno (00:02:29) - Well, in those cases the productivity goes down. The work environment is full of fear, fear of losing the jobs, or for example, fear of making mistakes. And also it's a work environment that lacks what we call psychological safety. People feel unsafe, feel not at ease, feel that they cannot connect with one another. And these companies that do not prioritize this relationship tend to higher absenteeism, a higher turnover, higher stress levels, but also they have a lower customer service. Why? Because employees that are dissatisfied tend to bring about a worse service for customers.

Josh (00:03:10) - Yeah. All right. Well, I think that most folks who listen to this podcast, when asked, would you like to have, uh, you know, would you like to run your, your business in a compassionate way? I hope I would say yes. So how might we know that we're running our company with compassion?

Dr. Bruno (00:03:29) - Very good question. And the answer to this question is quite simple. In business there are only two main aspects aspect that we call quantitative aspect of business, meaning aspect that can be measured, that can be quantified.

Dr. Bruno (00:03:42) - For example, profits can be quantified, market share can be quantified, productivity can be quantified. But there are also other aspects that we call qualitative because that cannot be quantified. For example, empathy, support, camaraderie, loyalty and others. And this qualitative aspect of business that cannot be measured precisely are as important as the quantitative aspect business. So many companies only focus on what can be counted. And there is a famous saying that observes a not only what can be counted counts, but also what cannot be counted also counts. So this means that there should be an equilibrium between what we call quantitative aspects that are related to these key performance indicators and qualitative aspects. And what are this empathy, support, care, camaraderie and others. But also I want to observe something that is probably a very obvious conclusion that come from my research. That is that companies cannot thrive without a stakeholder. This means that companies need a stakeholder to thrive, need employees. They need customers to generate more sales, more profit. They need community members to support this company.

Dr. Bruno (00:04:57) - They need suppliers. They need business partners. So the most intelligent approach is to build strong relationships with all these stakeholders so that they are on our side, not against us. We want them on our side because when we support this stakeholder, when we treat them with care, with empathy, with compassion, these stakeholders tend to act in a reciprocal way. They tend to support, for example, when you treat customers in the best way possible, they're not trying to deceive this customer, but on the contrary, you try to exceed customer need. You try to delight this customer. This customer feel not only that their needs have been met, but they feel supported by the company. And this customer is more likely to leave positive reviews online to recommend your product to other customers. The opposite happened when the company adopt a win lose approach. This means that they try to get all the profit at the expense of customers. Deceiving this customer. This customer is likely to act in the opposite way they try to.

Dr. Bruno (00:05:57) - Negative reviews. They try to push other customers away. So this means that the most important factor in business is not technology. It's not fancy, but it's the human being. We have to preserve relationship in business because are the most important pillars for any business success. Without relationship, no company can succeed with relationships that are strong. But mutually beneficial means that all parties get their needs met. These relationships not only that, is strong, but also push the company toward success. So the most important conclusion from this research is that we have to nurture this relationship on a regular basis, and how we can nurture these very few tips. Being generous with these stakeholders, being grateful with the stakeholders, being supportive, these stakeholders need our support and compassion is not only to understand how they feel and how they think, but also support them. Bring them with a specific assistance when they need this, apply to suppliers, apply to employees and apply also to any other stakeholder.

Josh (00:07:04) - You know, Bruno, I would imagine that someone's listening to this.

Josh (00:07:08) - Um, and they might say, you know, I think we do a good job, but I'm not sure I would imagine that. You know, certainly asking questions and surveying would be pretty valuable, and I hope, enlightening. Um, can you recommend maybe some best practices for how to get a feel for how we're doing on this?

Dr. Bruno (00:07:30) - Yes, yes. A very important question for self-reflection will be how can I be more generous with each stakeholders? And when we talk about generosity. Many people feel a bit worried because they think that only generosity is about giving tangible things. For example, if you have, you are the manager, you have an employee. Being generous will imply giving this employee a bonus. But in my book I also talk about the giving intangible things. For example, if you have an employee that contributed to the company success, you can, for example, give thanks to this employee. You can write a thank you note, handwritten and signed by you, but also you can give this employee mentoring, coaching support advice, valuable information you can give this employee a year.

Dr. Bruno (00:08:16) - You can listen to this employee attentively. So this means that being generous doesn't imply only providing stakeholder with tangible things, but also with intangible things. Another question that I will ask myself if I am the manager or an employee working for a company, is how can I be more grateful? This is so important because people have emotional needs. Most of the company focus only on the economic needs of a stakeholder and a stakeholder have economic needs, emotional needs, mental needs, and also needs for meaning. So how can you satisfy this emotional needs? You want to make these people valuable feel that they are valuable. If the employees have been working hard for many months, they have been working overtime. They have given very little time to their family and they try to give their best to this company. Well, you have to be grateful. Probably you can organize an event to acknowledge this employee contribution in a public way. So this means that you have to be very over with a gratefulness, with gratitude. And also by being gratitude you are reinforcing positive behavior.

Dr. Bruno (00:09:24) - So this is also assertive by psychology that when you reinforce positive behavior, people are more likely to behave in the same way. Instead, when you are ungrateful, what do you expect this employee contributed to your company? You expect this employee if you're ungrateful to keep on contributing to your company. Now, the employee will say, I am in a good salary here, but I will look for another company that I can invest in salary, but I can feel supported. I can feel cared for. So this means that the relational aspect of business are generally dismissed. Some companies take this too extreme. Why? Because they focus so much on profit that in some cases they look for profits. By all means, this means deceiving customers or polluting the environment, or looking for win lose agreement with suppliers or exploiting employees. Well, these type of companies still exist. Maybe in ten years time. We don't have to talk about this topic. But now there are some companies. But I still see a new growing amount of companies that have a different approach.

Dr. Bruno (00:10:28) - They do not focus only on profits, which are important, but they focus on a model that we call the £0.03 model, a triple bottom line approach that implies focusing non profits. Economic indicators focusing on people. People implies employees, managers, a customer and others, but also focusing also on the planet, on the environment, caring for the the world, leaving a better world for future generations.

Josh (00:10:55) - Yeah, yeah. All very, very critical. You know, my I guess let's say that there is work that needs to be done. Right. So we've let's say that we've we've kind of asked Rosa, we did some survey, we did some asking around. And maybe it's not Bruno, maybe it's not common sense where we should be focusing our efforts to improve our culture within our organizations, right, or with our customers. And someone's like, look, I know we got work to do, but I just don't know where to start.

Dr. Bruno (00:11:28) - Very interesting question. The first question, for example, a manager or a business leader should ask when analyzing the work environment is is there any fear in this workplace? Is there any fear in this workplace? What is so important? Because according to research, fear bring about all negative outcomes.

Dr. Bruno (00:11:47) - Fear bring about stress. When people fear fearful, fearful of anything, for example, fearful of making mistakes or losing their jobs, or fearful of being creative or being non-traditional, this work environment tend to be less productive. Fear bring about less productivity bring about also less cooperation. Why? Because people don't want to share resources. So the most important question for a manager or a business leader will be to analyze if there is any type of fear, fear of making mistakes when there is no fear. We call this work environment. That is a work environment with psychological safety. People feel at ease. They don't feel tense. When you are not, things tend to you tend to be more creative. You tend to be more productive. You tend to be more connected to others. Instead, when you are fearful, you are focusing on the threat. So this is the most important point. And most companies try to make employees feel fearful. Why? Because they are commanding them in a very aggressive way. In some cases, their micromanaging.

Dr. Bruno (00:12:47) - Micromanaging implies that you don't trust them and employees when they are not being trusted. How they can behave. They behave like a in a very flimsy way. Why? Because they say, why are not trust so? And also when there is no fear in the workplace, delegation comes up. This means the thing can be delegated. People are trusted. Cooperation tend to bring a to be brought about very naturally. People are engaging in collective projects because they want to cooperate with one another and people are trusting each other. The opposite happen when there is fear. I thank you for the question. It's a very important question. The question will be, is there any fear in this workplace? And I'm sure that you will find at least a little of fear. Most workplaces have a little of fear.

Josh (00:13:30) - Yeah. Yeah, naturally. Okay, so someone's been listening to our conversation, Bruno, and, um, you know, they're interested in learning more on the topic. Um, what resources would you recommend? Where should they go from here if they if they're kind of really interested in kind of improving culture of compassion, uh, both internally and with audiences and clients.

Dr. Bruno (00:13:54) - Thank you very much. I can recommend my second edition of the book, the Art of Compassionate Business, probably by release, that can be found anywhere online, offline, any bookshop. But also they can contact me on my website WW dot Bruno. Com or they can join me on LinkedIn that I post interesting articles daily.

Josh (00:14:16) - Yeah, you have a pretty good, uh, blog as well. Again, your website we have linked up to my American friends. You're probably just going to. I could spell it for you. You got. You got some Italian naming going on Doctor Bruno. But to our friend, this list or conversation right now, go ahead and click on the show notes or information icon. Click around in your podcast. Just keep clicking on stuff until you get to the point where we've got the show notes. We have a direct link, Doctor Bruno, to your website, including your books and again, book that you had mentioned. It's the Art of Compassionate Business main Principles for the human oriented enterprise.

Josh (00:14:53) - It's again available on paperback, hardback and ebooks. So Doctor Bruno's great conversation. Thank you so much for the work that you are doing to increase compassion in the workplace and in our cultures and on the planet.

Dr. Bruno (00:15:07) - Thank you very much again, I feel very honored to be here. Thank you very much.

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