Much has been written about empathy as an essential leadership trait.
But how do we build our own capacity in this area?
Will be kicking around some ideas about how to do that in the coming weeks. Hope you will add your own in the comments.
One way to build our capacity and confidence with empathy: Brainstorm Relatable Stories
Identify some of the mindsets you witness in your organization that limit the growth of people or the organization itself. Then, brainstorm some of the emotions that might be causing those mindsets.
For example: Mindset: Resistance to change
Possible emotions: Fear, lack of confidence, left out (of purpose, communication, etc.), overwhelmed, worry about being not good enough, etc.
For each emotion, identify a time in your life where you felt the same emotion.
Your stories don’t have to be related to work, but go beyond just naming an incident. Actually engage in the act of telling the story from start to finish. You can tell it to a person, say it in the mirror or write it down with the same impact.
Please note: It is not recommended you tell your overwhelmed story to the person feeling overwhelmed. The idea is to give life to the emotion so you are better able to honor that emotion in others at work and in your life.
What did you learn when you gave voice to your stories?
How does making time to honor emotion save you time as an organization and ensure a forward moving trajectory?