LEAD| Autumn/Winter 2021/2
By: D.C. Alves M.Ed., Chief Leadership Officer, ExuLAB
Who just doesn't love a good Top 10 List? We here at ExuLAB do too- so we compiled a helpful Top 10 List on how to plus up organizational empathy capacity in your own organization today.
Here we go!
The ExuLAB Top 10:
Plussing Up Organizational Empathy Capacity
1. Recognize empathy is a two-way street (mutual understanding)- you seek to understand others while others seek to understand you- leaders model the way.
2. Hire strong, fair, honest, optimistic leaders who value the mutual understanding of empathy as a core belief.
3. Encourage free expression and free exchange of all ideas and all voices in your pursuit of mutual understanding.
4. Encourage optimism NOT fear. Real Empathy cannot live in conditions driven by fear, force or dominance.
5. Understand that empathy is a choice- every time.
6. Identify key areas where empathy needs work in your organization and ask yourself "why is this a pain point?"- look first at your leadership- your organization and its culture good, bad or indifferent are a direct reflection of its leadership.
7. Be as real as possible with your personal intention of building empathy capacity- there is nothing worse than phony or fake empathy- your teams and clients will feel it.
8. Build your own "empathy awareness" as a leader and live empathy as a living and breathing practice.
9. Create "time" for empathy- don't rush conversations or interactions- seeking mutual understanding takes time and is worth it- think of it as an indispensable investment in trust.
10. Allow time for leader self-reflection- at the end of the day how well did you model empathy, where were your barriers, where were you successful, what will you do tomorrow to encourage empathy in yourself and others? Plussing up organizational empathy capacity always begins at the micro level and ripples outward to the macro.