6th of August 2020

Time for an honest self-appraisal. Would most people who work for you say that you bring out the best or the worst in them?

In over 1000 workshops with teams and leaders there was always that question which ingredients boost leaders and their teams to high performance. What´s the secret in the recipe of powerful leaders and teams to rock uncertainty and moving targets. Successful leaders have to empower themselves and inspire the people working for them, especially in Covid VUCA times, in order to stay engaged and be ready for growth.

The challenge is not only to catch up and reconsider planning and operations but to think ahead your strategy and business model in order to lead the wave or ride the wave and not only follow the wave. Therefore you need to get in close contact to the people who work for you, involve them, listen, learn and improve together. People need to feel – we are in this together – your humbleness and your empathy.

I can see a big shift in Leadership requirements to be even more person focused and show empathy to earn trust, loyalty, creativity and powerful performance. What I mean by empathy is the ability to experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions or experience of others. It means that you care for the needs and achievement perspectives, values and cultures. That is actually far more than sympathy, which means that you have understanding and support others with compassion and sensitivity.

All my workshops, trainings and coaching with leaders and teams showed

4 main ingredients that boost your Empathy:

  1. Presence – be there in person or online, be involved, approachable, curious to learn and interested in others
  2. Reliability and Trust – do what you say and say what you do and practice clear and open communication
  3. ActiveListening and Understanding – skill to change perspective without judgement Skilled listeners let others know that they’re being heard, they express understanding of concerns and problems, learn from others and are humble to not knowing.
  4. Recognize efforts and show appreciation – willingness to help your employees and recognize their efforts by showing appreciation.

In fact those leaders who scored with high empathy were also trusted high performance managers. And that adds up to an even more important aspect that demonstrating empathy improves human interactions in general and can lead to more effective communication and positive outcomes in both work and home settings, which leads to a better resilience.

The late Maya Angelou once said “For most of us, it’s easy to name the leaders who’ve brought out the best in us. Maybe it´s even easier to name people who’ve brought out the worst. These memories are significant because of the way these leaders made us feel and made us perform.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

About the author:
I am Martina Wehner, a passionate Executive Coach and Team Trainer, expert in Powerful Team Culture and Empathy in Leadership. Find out more about your empathy in leadership and get in contact with a first free online meeting https://www.teamandleaders.com  or text me mw@teamandleaders.com.
I love to hear from you!