Leadership Shaping Series #7 – 5/15/19

In order to continue to shape our leadership we must learn to be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to feel, share and understand what another person is going through without passing judgement. Why, as a leader, do we need to be empathetic? Leadership is about the ability to relate and connect with others in order to inspire them to be better tomorrow than today. So when we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes we can feel where they are. This builds trust and connectivity. When there is a higher level of trust others feel safe. When we feel safe, we will open up to listening more, learning more and performing more. As a leader, when we show empathy, it creates a bond with team members and you become more insightful which helps you understand the root of the problem and can discover solutions more quickly.

To be empathetic you must listen intently to the other person without judgement. You should listen for understanding. Most importantly, you listen to provide support. It doesn’t mean you must solve or fix their issues or that you are in agreement, it just means you are there to have a better understanding from their point of view. Team members need to feel valued and just asking the question “are you okay” goes a long way! When someone has stopped performing at the level you are used to, instead of becoming upset and frustrated, stop and listen; find out what is going on! Taking the time to find out how your team is doing and truly listening will only build a better connection and a higher level of trust leading to better performance and a personal sense of satisfaction.

Let’s be more empathic this week. Slow down and check out the small details…tune into the mood of your team. Then take a moment to listen. Best of luck this week. Let me know how it is going! “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” — Stephen Covey

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