It’s the job of a leader to bring people together to achieve things they cannot on their own. If we deeply understand one another (the result of empathy), we build trust, resolve differences more easily and produce better results with less time, money, and stress.
When stress is high, as it is right now, the need for empathy goes up as people tend to retract and pay more attention to themselves. The person that can take a breath, open up, and care for the other is an unusual asset in a high-stress time.
Listening to learn
The truly curious leader who learns the purposes, concerns and circumstances of others is practicing empathy. When we gift another our curiosity about what really matters to them and share what we learned from being with them, they are likely to be more relaxed, open and confident.
Empathetic curiosity about what really matters to another is always impactful, even more so when it comes from someone with power and authority. In that experience, the distance between two people vanishes and they feel their leader is on their side, not above them.
Beware the four empathy killers
The four empathy killers are Hurry, Stress, Position Power & the Compulsion to be right and prove others wrong. Being conscious of these tendencies can help us catch our lack of empathy, take a breath and go back to listening to learn.
Presence is the precursor for Empathy
Presence has three ingredients: logical, emotional and physical. Taking a breath in moments of stress and disconnection is the physical path back to being fully present. Then we can refocus, logically understand purposes, concerns and circumstances and appreciate meaningful emotions.
It’s also important to show empathy for ourselves, as none of us are empathetic all the time. We can get off track, notice and correct. As we often say, “connection is an art of correction, not perfection.”
We will be hosting a live 30-minute conversation on this topic next week. Stay tuned for more details and registration by subscribing for our newsletter. We will continue to explore this topic and many others related to how we stay connected and keep creating value in challenging circumstances, so stay tuned for future episodes of The Connection Diaries.
If you and your community have been having inspiring conversations and ideas about how to navigate the COVID-19 reality, we would love to hear about them! Please comment below or connect with us on LinkedIn. Let’s unleash our collective brilliance.