From Ashes to Empathy
The legend of the Phoenix has been recited to countless generations since its earliest origins. Even in this modern era, there’s still something inspiring about that mythological bird that had the ability to rise from ashes to new life and limitless possibilities. Indeed, the promise of ‘rebirth’ should resonate with everyone who has endured the events of a global pandemic and the fallout that has impacted individuals for the past two years. Like the fabled Phoenix, many of us long to be transformed after so much tragedy—and perhaps one of the most unexpected transformations may be an increased level of empathy.
For decades, the team at LEADon® has encouraged leaders to consider the vital role empathy can play in their personal and professional lives. In particular, this attribute has the potential to dramatically impact Corporate Family® performance, as Maria Ross points out in her November 2018 Entrepreneur post: “Companies with cultures that encourage empathy would attract highly engaged individuals. And that’s just what the data show. Empathetic companies also have better retention and higher morale among employees (you can read more of “4 Reasons Empathy is Good for Business” at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/322302).
Take a few minutes to consider the three benefits of empathy Ross highlights and how they might impact your business in positive ways:
- Your organization can attract highly engaged candidates for current and future positions.
- Your Corporate Family® would experience less turnover of employees.
- Morale would be higher throughout your Corporate Family®.
By the way, an increased emphasis on corporate empathy doesn’t mean you and other leaders will be distracted from your roles or business objectives. What will be required, however, is a shift from simply “managing employees’ specific responsibilities . . . to managing their perception of their career trajectories, the impact of work on their personal lives, and their relationship with the organization as a whole” (discover more specifics in Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McCree’s January 2022 Harvard Business Review article at https://hbr.org/2022/01/11-trends-that-will-shape-work-in-2022-and-beyond).
Interestingly, this shift in mindset is possible for each member of your Corporate Family®. Why? Because empathy is part of everyone’s Emotional Quotient (EQ), a set of characteristics that define our personal and social competence at work, home, and everywhere in between. At LEADon® we define empathy as the ability to sense others’ feelings and perspectives while taking an active interest in their concerns. We like the way the Forbes Coaches Council explained this concept in a November 2021 article: “Empathy is no longer a luxury but a powerful skill for normalizing life and work challenges. You don’t have to know or share the whole story of an employee’s situation (or yours) but recognizing moods or behaviors and addressing them with care is appreciated” (read “16 Key Trends That Will Drive Small Business in 2022” at www.forbes.com).
The team at LEADon® has witnessed the benefits increased levels of empathy can have on individual leaders, teams, and entire Corporate Families®. That’s why we created the Developing Emotional Competency Questionnaire® (DECQ) in the first place. This proprietary online metric allows you and your team members to identify strengths and weaknesses in all EQ characteristics, including empathy. After taking the DECQ®, participants receive their EQ scores via email along with specific recommendations for any personal and social competencies that need improving. In addition to many LEADon® online courses that target empathy (for instance, Developing Your EQ to Improve Your Emotional Competence® and LEADing with a Culture of Appreciation® ), we also provide numerous free resources to support leaders like you as you strive to build a more empathetic Corporate Family® environment (please see a recent post, “Culture of Caring,” as an example of what you can access at www.LEADonUniversity.com).
Perhaps a more empathetic approach will rise from the ashes of our past experiences, transforming the way we think, feel, and interact with those around us. With such increased caring, there are indeed limitless possibilities since empathy is a remarkable force for good that not only changes individuals and Corporate Families® but also communities and culture. If LEADon® can answer questions that you may have on this or any other leadership topic, please contact us at 858.592.0700 or www.LEADonUniversity.com. We care about your needs, and we’re here to help.