It would appear that many organizations in India and elsewhere actually celebrate sociopathic behaviour in leaders. Some psychologists have even suggested that there may be a sweet spot, an ideal level of sociopathic trait. It helps leaders keep teams in line, and feel no empathy or remorse at cutting costs or firing employees...
In contrast, empaths, or individuals with high emotional intelligence, pose the greatest threat to a sociopathic mind.
Studies of organizational behaviour suggest that the empath may feel internally compelled to take a stand against the sociopath, but the sociopath is usually able to shift the blame on the empath, while going scot-free himself. The term 'gas-lighting effect' has been used to describe behaviours by which a sociopath will attempt to erode her opponent's reality.
We are not thinking machines. We are feeling machines who think. ~Richard Restak, George Washington University neurology professor As leaders, we need to make emotional connections with our target audience if we hope to influence their thoughts and actions. One very important way to connect positively with people is with what I call powerful empathy. …
In Business or the world of work?What is Empathy?Empathy and ConflictTwo wayEmpathy and LeadershipConclusion
One of the hallmarks of a successful business is its ability to harness creativity, to challenge the status quo, to push boundaries and to innovate. Without growth and innovation, businesses stagnate and eventually fade away. Those with staying power are likely to have mastered this important skill which allows them to focus on the future with clarity: empathy.
Empathy helps us to get along, to understand each other, to work together and to resolve problems. In the world of work, we cannot get along without it.
Wharton’s Sigal Barsade says demonstrating “companionate love” in the workplace is vital to employee morale, teamwork and customer satisfaction.
Already, though, the research seems to be pointing to a strong message for managers in all industries, Barsade says: tenderness, compassion, affection and caring matter at work. “Management can do something about this,” she says. “They should be thinking about the emotional culture. It starts with how they are treating their own employees when they see them.
tenderness, compassion, affection and caring matter at work.
Are they showing these kinds of emotions? And it informs what kind of policies they put into place. This is something that can definitely be very purposeful — not just something that rises organically.
Recently, there was an article describing a couple of studies that have been done on empathy, that trait that allows us to feel another’s circumstances (“Empathy is Actually a Choice,” Cameron, Inzlicht, and Cunningham, NYT July 12, 2015).
The studies suggest empathy can be learned, that it is not a limited reserve of feeling with a cap. While some individuals seem born with a fully developed pallet of empathy, others have barely a seed, which will require significant nurturing and learning.
The most interesting bit in this article was that when people realized empathy could be learned, they made efforts to improve their own empathy quotient. These people seek out situations that will build their capacity for empathy, but sometimes the lesson comes from a different direction. Part of a course I took on social justice involved going to a soup kitchen.
The business community has embraced the concept of emotional intelligence and its importance ever since Daniel Goleman's best-selling book, Working with Emotional Intelligence(1998). The challenge is to demonstrate that such competencies significantly impact employee performance.
Ten Ways to Develop Empathy
1. Keep a note of situations in which you felt you were able to demonstrate empathy and a note when you felt you did not. Make a note of missed opportunities to respond with empathy.2. Become aware of incidents where there may be some underlying concerns that are not explicitly expressed by others.3. Make a note of possible emotions or feelings that the other person may be experiencing. Keep an open mind and never assume, merely explore the possibilities.4. Develop a list of questions to ask at your next encounter with that person. Try to make the questions open-ended, that is, questions that can't be answered by yes or no.5. Practice listening without interrupting. Wait until the other person is complete with their point of view before offering yours.6. Avoid being defensive in order to create an open dialogue where possibilities can be explored freely.7. Allow creative time for people to express opinions and ideas without judgment.8. Practice active listening: always check out the meaning of what was said with the person speaking. Paraphrasing what was said helps to clear up misconceptions and to deepen understanding.9. Always bring focus back into the conversation. Remember that optimal effectiveness is achieved by a combination of focus and empathy.10. Work on achieving an effective balance of focus, goal orientation and empathic listening.
It’s no secret that the “softer” personality traits aren’t as valued in organizations. Empathy, self-reflection, and goodwill take the backseat to efficiency, results, and profits. What would you say if I told you that fostering the former skills would actually improve the latter?
Jane Dutton, one of the founders of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and University of Michigan Roth School of Business, has been studying and researching compassion in the workplace. Her research shows that when you train in mindfulness, it has an immediate impact on the quality of your relationships with your colleagues.
To be an effective leader, it is crucially important to be a good listener. To be a good listener, I mean a really good listener, there are three conditions that must be met according to Dr. Thomas Gordon. They are: acceptance, empathy, and genuineness.
Dr. Gordon studied psychology with Carl Rogers, one of the most famous psychologists of all time. Rogers talked about unconditional positive regard, empathy, and congruence and Tom Gordon applied those concepts to non-therapeutic situations that were practical for parents, teachers, and managers...
Empathy is the ability to understand the other person’s point of view - both the content and emotions. It does not mean that you have to have the same feelings or experience the same things or have had the same experience in the past. Have you ever heard someone say,
“I know how you feel.” It is difficult not to be sarcastic or to respond defensively. “
No you don’t!” Or, how about, “I feel sorry for you.” Wow! How insulting “Can’t you do anything on your own? I need to do this for you as well?”
Author of the much acclaimed book Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux, will discuss the emergence in many different sectors of a whole new type of organisation – one that eschews hierarchy and bureaucracy in favour of truly soulful and...
A new business paradigm, in which management aims to to foster a better world, is rapidly taking hold.
McGrath posits that there have been three thematic ages of management since the industrial revolution: execution, expertise, and now, empathy.
She says, "If organizations existed in the execution era to create scale and in the expertise era to provide advanced services, today many are looking to organizations to create complete and meaningful experience. I would argue that management has entered a new era of empathy."
Recently I gave a seminar for the top 100 or so leaders of a global manufacturing company, at the invitation of the head of HR. It was their annual leadership development meeting...
I’ve never seen a list of a great leader’s abilities that did not include impactful communication. And that requires empathy – the third domain of emotional intelligence. There are two specific kinds of empathy; one is cognitive empathy, understanding how others think about the world. Once you know their mental models you can put what you have to say in terms that will make most sense to them.
The second kind, emotional empathy, means you can sense immediately how another person feels. This means you can fine-tune what you say so it has a positive impact.
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