Leadership and Empathy

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While learning about Emotional Intelligence, many people find it difficult to understand why empathy is an important competency for leadership. Some people proudly proclaim that they don’t have much empathy, while others roll their eyes about this “warm and fuzzy” virtue.

But what people fail to realize is that when we show lack of empathy in our daily lives, it serves as a roadblock not only to our relationships but also to our coaching abilities.

Empathy is the ability to read other people and see things from their perspective.

It involves tuning into body language, facial expression, posture and tone. When we show empathy we “hear” the whole message both verbally and non-verbally. We work to understand rather than projecting our own interpretation of reality on them.

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Give the Gift of Listening

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Listening enables us as leaders and mangers to value our employees. It helps people get the most out of meetings and conversations. True listening promotes cooperation. It assumes the other person has worth, dignity and something to offer.

Some benefits to increasing your listening include: building cohesive teams of people, developing individuals to be better contributors, making solid decisions, knowing how to connect with others and creating an atmosphere of reduced stress. When people reflect on their best boss a frequent response is that the person was a great listener. Listening is a gift that aids us in both personal and professional growth.

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Type as We Age

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a fascinating personality profile based on the work of Carl Jung. Jung suggested that psychological type is a compass for the life long process of individualization. Much research has been done using the MBTI tool– including how type is affected during our life long process of growth and development. Discover the richness of the dynamics of type by thinking of how your type has evolved over the years.

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Five Factors that Contribute to Job Enrichment

Ever wonder how to keep your employees (or yourself) happy on the job? Researchers Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham identified five factors that make a difference in job satisfaction.

  1. Skill Variety – A desired mix of skills and activities is needed to carry out the work.
  2. Task Completion – The job is undertaken as a whole, allowing the employee to complete an identifiable piece of work from beginning to end with a visible outcome.
  3. Task Significance – The job has a recognizable impact on the overall mission or on other people inside or outside the organization.
  4. Autonomy – The job offers substantial freedom, independence, and discretion in scheduling the work and in choosing the procedures to be used in carrying it out.
  5. Feedback – The job provides feedback by observable progress and results of the job itself, or from customers, coworkers and management.

Resource: The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, by Leigh Branham

Emotional Information Age

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The information age has been here for quite some time. All of us are dependent on getting information, interpreting it and using it wisely. But there is also another type of information age going on that does not involve technology, it centers on the energy of emotions.

The field of Emotional Intelligence has grown both in sophistication and importance. There has been a dramatic increase in researchers that have entered the field and studies that are being conducted. This concept has taken hold worldwide.

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Boosting Your Risk Tolerance

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Being a leader involves understanding the importance of taking risks.  Of course, risk taking often means acting quickly within a short period of time. So leaders must be savvy on the business, their relationships and innermost emotions. Reflecting on various aspects of your risk tolerance is important for living with your actions afterwards.  Consider the following suggestions for boosting your risk tolerance:

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Do You Have What It Takes as A Leader?

A recent study by the Army War College looked at highly regarded major generals in Iraq for leadership qualities.  Subordinates rated leaders anonymously.  The results were, in order of importance:

  1. Keeps cool under pressure.
  2. Clearly explains missions, standards and priorities.
  3. Sees the big picture; provides context and perspective.
  4. Makes tough, sound decisions on time.

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The Bully in the Corner Office

It isn’t rocket science to realize that people who bully their way through their childhood and in their personal life will bring these same techniques to work.  Dealing with a bully takes a good deal of emotional intelligence and a lot of inner strength.  You have to have a healthy amount of self-regard, assertiveness, impulse control, optimism and emotional self-awareness to weather the storm of an office bully.

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Using Type to Navigate Change

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Organizations are constantly going through change to become successful, stay on top of the competition or to just merely survive. Fundamentally, change may affect how we work, who we work for, what goals we are trying to achieve, and in what direction we are heading. At the extremes, some employees find change stimulating and exciting and other employees want to stay in the past.

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