Last week I had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting the weekly #LeadFromWithin tweetchat with Lolly Daskal. The subject of my chat was “The Role of Empathy in Leadership” and I have to say I was gratified by both the level of participation and depth of contributions/insights which arose during the discussion (click here to download a PDF copy of the chat transcript).
Although I’ve written previously about the importance of empathy in leadership, I want to use last week’s talk as an opportunity to delve into this issue more, sharing some of the points I provided during the talk, as well as some of the insights proffered by the various participants. Here are the ten questions I asked participants as we discussed the role empathy plays in leadership.
"Amit Dodani, a 15-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, talks about 'My Name My Story'--his youth-run leadership program to inspire the next generation of leaders."
"I encourage young people like myself to find their passion and run with it! Everyone's talents can be used for the greater good. For an athlete, it may be teaching disabled children how to play their sport. For a musician, it may be holding a charity concert to raise money for cancer. For a scientist, it may be working with corporations on finding new developments in medicine that can cure millions. For a writer, it may be writing inspirational poetry that moves people in healthy directions. For me, it is public speaking. I recently realized my words really can make a difference."
Defining your proposition and message, and living up to it, will contribute powerfully to your career progression. And when you get to the top, don’t think you need to change your approach. Brands exist in the hearts and minds of the people who use them, and if you suddenly try to change them, you alienate the customer, which doesn’t do you an awful lot of good.
When most people think of leaders, they think of famous people like Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, or (when talking about toxic leaders), Adolf Hitler. But why not think about ourselves in term of a leader?
You are tired. You are frustrated. You are weary. Weary of feeling as though your dreams are impossible to reach. Weary of being told you don’t fit in, won’t make the cut or don’t have what it takes to play on the team. Weary of feeling as though...
People want to feel a sense of control over change - so it's not just something imposed on them by people who don'y understand their needs and priorities. When people understand why change is necessary and it's long-term benefits, they're more likely to buy in.