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  • feedwordpress 09:00:49 on 2021/01/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Empathy, , , , , ,   

    How To Become A More Empathetic Leader In Difficult Times 


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    In difficult times it’s easy for people to fall victim to their anxieties and fears, a natural response to an extended period of stress and uncertainty. What that means in the workplace is that more than ever before we need leaders who are empathetic—who have the ability to be compassionate and sympathetic, who can step into someone else’s shoes, who can understand and act on the needs of others. When people feel seen, heard, and understood, leadership is at its best, and empathy is what makes that happen.

    Here are some of the top traits of empathetic leaders. As you read through, ask yourself how many you can claim and where you could be doing more.

    Empathetic leaders listen attentively. Listening is one of the most important skills of great leaders. Too often when others are speaking we only half-listen as we judge, think of what we’re going to say in response, or interrupt. The solution to these bad habits—which can become even worse when anxiety and stress are at high levels—is the practice of empathy. Tune in with your full attention and listen to understand.

    Empathetic leaders embody compassion—toward themselves and others. You can’t give what you don’t have, and you can’t serve others unless you first care for yourself. The practice of self-compassion—that is, treating yourself as you would treat someone you care about—is a necessary component of empathy.

    Empathetic leaders stay connected. Building and maintaining connection is key in any relationship, in the workplace or in your personal life, and connection requires intentionality and effort. One of your top priorities as an empathetic leader in a time of crisis is to show that you care, and connection provides the way for you to make that happen.

    Empathetic leaders communicate frequently. As a leader it is important to communicate what you know, candidly and clearly, as early as you can. Even if nothing is changing, staying in touch builds trust and credibility. In the absence of credible communication, damaging rumors quickly take root.

    Empathetic leaders show appreciation. Whether it’s a small word of affirmation, saying “thank you” to someone for a job well done, or an announcement or email acknowledging a strong group effort, the time you spend recognizing and showing appreciation to your people is always well spent. Remember to acknowledge and praise not only results but also effort. Especially in times of insecurity, appreciation helps people feel validated and valued.

    Empathy means first sharing an understanding of someone else’s experiences and then responding with compassion and caring. Empathy brings us together as human beings. And especially in times of crisis, it’s among the most important attributes you can bring to your practice of leadership.

    Lead from within: Empathy is important in business and every other area of life; it helps you see with the eyes of another, listen with ears of another and feel with the heart of another.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How To Become A More Empathetic Leader In Difficult Times appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:05 on 2021/01/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Leadership Quality That Will Help You Get Comfortable With Crisis 


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    In times of crisis, one of the most important roles of leadership is setting an example that shows others how to respond. In uncertain times people look up for guidance—they watch those in charge to see how to manage their anxiety and stay focused and motivated.

    The secret to leading in such situations is staying mindful. Act in the awareness that you’re working to help those around you feel more comfortable in a difficult time. That means bringing the core principle of understanding to everything you do.

    Here are some ways to bring understanding to your crisis leadership:

    Be approachable and available. Understanding begins with letting those you lead know you’re in this with them, which means being present and available. Be generous in the time and attention you provide, and make sure you’re doing more listening than speaking. Give people space to express their anxiety, stress and fears. Remember that you don’t have to try to fix everything—help where you can, but stay within appropriate boundaries. What’s most important is your willingness to listen with empathy and presence.

    Be sensitive to what other people are feeling. People have strong feelings in times of difficulty, and as their leader it’s your place to let them feel without trying to make it to be about you or the organization. Never negate anyone’s feelings by telling them “Don’t be anxious” (or scared or sad or whatever they’re feeling). Empathize and, if you can, point them toward resources or information that may be helpful. Be sensitive not only to the feelings people are expressing but also to those they’re silent about.

    Be flexible but grounded. To be understanding is to make the changes that might be needed or helpful in response to shifting circumstances while maintaining the stability people hold on to in difficult times. You need to find the balance between being flexible and adaptable on the one hand and strong and grounded on the other.

    Be determined and showcase perseverance. To be understanding of others you first need to know about yourself. Tap into your own determination and motivation. Think about ways you’ve persevered in the past, and share those experiences with others. In this as in all things, your example is your most powerful leadership tool. Show them how it’s done through your own actions and by sharing your stories and those of people you admire.

    Leading people through uncomfortable times is never easy, but it’s part of every leader’s responsibility to help them become as comfortable as possible. And that’s done by being approachable, available, strong and adaptable, and by remembering that the people you’re leading may not have been through a significant trial before this.

    Lead from within: If you can help others be comfortable being uncomfortable, they’ll be prepared to handle whatever situation comes along.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post The Leadership Quality That Will Help You Get Comfortable With Crisis appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:07 on 2021/01/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Dumb Things, , , , , , , Stop, ,   

    9 Dumb Things Smart Leaders Need to Stop Doing Right Now 


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    Many leaders don’t know—or don’t want to know—about the dumb things they do that drive their people crazy. Even smart, committed leaders have blind spots, and you may be needlessly frustrating and irritating people with unthinking behavior and attitudes. They may not be able to tell you about it, but I can: if any of these apply to you, it’s time to stop. When you do, you’ll benefit everyone in your organization—including yourself.

    Stop talking over people. Don’t think that just because you’re considered a good communicator you should be doing all the talking or interrupting others when they’re speaking. The best communicators know that the most important part of the process is listening to understand.

    Stop thinking you know best. If you think you’re usually the smartest person in the room, you have a problem. Great leaders surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are. A team of smart people will challenge one another, and you. Everyone will learn and grow, and your organization will benefit at every level.

    Stop creating unattainable goals. Of course it’s good for your team to try and reach past their limits . But a steady stream of unrealistic goals adds pressure and unnecessary stress to the workday. People feel frustrated and distracted, and they give up pushing themselves toward something they know they can’t reach.

    Stop trying to control everything. Most people value strong leadership, but they resist control. If you have smart, talented people who are willing to step up, give them autonomy and help them grow into leaders themselves.

    Stop taking people for granted. Not just once or twice a year but on a regular basis, take the time to recognize people for doing good work, show appreciation for their efforts and commitment, and if necessary remind them that failure is part of success.

    Stop the hypocrisy. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Align your actions to match your words, and people will always respect the power of your example.

    Stop imposing unnecessary rules. Where rules are necessary, they’re important, but when they seem arbitrary and make people’s lives more difficult instead of easier, something’s wrong.

    Stop criticizing people in public. It’s one thing to disapprove of what someone says or does, but to publicly humiliate them is disrespectful. Give feedback that’s constructive and do it kindly and privately.

    Stop trying to act alone. The best leaders know the power of collaboration. They understand the truth of the old adage: if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.

    Even smart leaders can do dumb things and develop bad habits—what makes them smart is recognizing when they’re going astray and making the changes they need.

    Lead from within: To be a successful leader, learn to minimize the dumb things you do and always acknowledge that you have things to improve.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post 9 Dumb Things Smart Leaders Need to Stop Doing Right Now appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:15 on 2021/01/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    How a Crisis can Make a Bad Leader into a Great Leader 


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    Times of crisis are inherently challenging and difficult—but they also present great opportunities for leaders to grow. That’s especially true in the present. One of the many changes brought by the pandemic is that old-style control-and-command leadership is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

    A largely virtual workforce has a high level of autonomy, and leaders are faced with more variables than they can possibly control. With their habitual styles of leadership no longer viable, more and more leaders are finding that change is the order of the day. It’s a perfect time for growth. Here are some points to remember during this moment of opportunity:

    In crisis leaders can engage. If your leadership before was all about control, now it should be more about engagement—being curious about your people and learning not just what they’re doing but how they’re doing. It’s time to take off the tight reins, loosen the grips and build points of connection, because that’s where the real power of great leadership begins.

    In crisis leaders can pay close attention. If you’ve always been one of those bosses who didn’t really listen, now is the time to start tuning in. People don’t want to feel that they’re wasting their time or their concerns are unheard. Give voice to your people and encourage them to speak their mind, then listen to understand and to learn. In times like this you need the benefit of everyone’s thoughts and ideas.

    In crisis leaders can support. If support and advocacy haven’t been part of your leadership style up till now, you need to incorporate them immediately. Especially in times of crisis, people need support and encouragement from their leaders. If you don’t know how to begin, try asking your employees a basic question: What do you need from me, and how can I be of help? In that simple inquiry is the beginning of a positive new norm.

    In crisis leaders can celebrate and benefit from diversity. In an ideal workplace, everyone works from their own perspective in a way that leverages their knowledge, skills and abilities. In other words, people bring their diversity to work, and different ways at arriving at great results are celebrated. But many leaders fail to take full advantage of diversity and instead try to impose a rigid way of doing things on everyone. The current moment, with its need for new processes and perspectives in every area, is a perfect opportunity for people to explore working together in new ways that incorporate diversity and recognize its extraordinary value.

    Difficult as they are, times of trouble present an opportunity for people to bond together in new ways. Even if you’d evaluate your leadership so far as mediocre bordering on bad, you now have an opportunity to make it great.

    Lead from within: In crisis people tend to come together in new ways, and leaders can rewrite the status quo so that taking care of one another becomes the norm.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How a Crisis can Make a Bad Leader into a Great Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:47 on 2021/01/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    How to Care for Your Employees’ Mental Health 


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    Most of us have greatly expanded our understanding of stress over these past few months, when we have the usual everyday stresses plus the uncertainty, disruption and chaos of a pandemic. It’s no surprise that mental well-being is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. As leaders we want what is best for our employees, and that means caring for about their mental health—especially now. Here are some solid steps you can take:

    Break the silence. Leaders can mitigate the stigma around mental health issues by discussing them openly, using mental health resources themselves if needed, and sharing their stories. Make it clear that the workplace is a welcoming and supportive space.

    Keep the dialogue going. Hold communication channels open for discussion, taking care not to pressure anyone to disclose private information. Work with Human Resources to identify and issues and resources, and share the information personally in a meeting or seminar. Let employees see your commitment.

    Provide (or advocate for) mental health resources at your company. The best thing you can do for your employees is to be proactive in meeting their needs. Do everything in your power—ideally through your employee health care plan—to provide accessible, affordable mental health services such as counseling, therapy, and treatment for addiction.

    Maintain regular check-ins: The best leaders stay on top of important issues, and making mental health a top priority means treating it as an ongoing commitment rather than something to check off your to-do list. Communicate regularly about mental health and make sure channels are available to help people those who are feeling overwhelmed.

    Watch for signs that someone’s struggling. If you’re worried about an employee who’s experiencing decreased productivity or a marked change in personality, set up an informal meeting. With discretion, care and compassion, ask how they’re doing—at work and at home. As much as possible, provide assistance by adjusting workloads, adding flexible hours, or connecting them with resources.

    Create a virtual support system. The best leaders create virtual connections to alleviate feelings of isolation for employees working from home. A sense of community is an important component of mental and emotional well-being, and connection helps reinforce a spirit of belonging and mutual support among employees.

    Lead by example. Make sure you’re fostering healthy behaviors not only with your words but also through your actions. Don’t tell people to be maintain a good work–life balance and then stay logged in late into the evening yourself. Employees look to their leaders to set the tone, so be the example you want others to follow.

    Advocating for mental health support in the workplace may seem like an insurmountable task, but it starts with small, intentional steps and a caring leader.

    Lead from within: Given that we spend half our waking hours working, it’s unsurprising that work is one of the most influential factors in our mental health. The best leaders understand this principle and address it.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Care for Your Employees’ Mental Health appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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