Managing with Empathy
Think for a moment about your favorite manager or leader. Someone who was in charge in the organization you worked for, or work for today. What is it about them that makes them your favorite?
Odds are, what you love about them has far more to do with interpersonal skills than anything else. They listen to you. They care about you. They invest in you. They help you.
Managers who understand how to be human at work - how to empathize with fellow employees and direct reports - are far superior to managers who ignore or tamp down emotional connections.
There is little reason to trust a manager who refuses to become vulnerable and share something about themselves, and there is little reason to trust a manager who, when you’re feeling vulnerable, keeps their response business-like - or, let’s face it, robotic.
Managing with empathy can mean a lot of simple things; it comes down to being human.
How to Manage with Empathy
Ask someone how they’re doing, and really listen to the response.
Care enough to ask, “What do you need? How can I help you? What do you want to be known for?”
Once this pandemic ends: Continue to allow people to work from home if their job allows it.
Focus on listening to understand, not to respond or direct.
Acknowledge your own mistakes and move forward.
Need to ask someone to work on improving in some way? Be specific about what you want to see, and think twice about exactly how you’re delivering that message - how would YOU want to hear it? Would would be most helpful to assist someone in getting where they need to be?
Learn about your people - talk to them about their lives.
Focus on being your own authentic self at work, and you won’t be the manager people leave - you’ll be the manager people love.