Empathetic leadership needn't be a recipe for burnout

Fight end-of-year weariness by looking back and forward | practice | Empathetic leadership needn't be a recipe for burnout
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December 18, 2023
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Leading the Way
Fight end-of-year weariness by looking back and forward
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Pausing to take stock of your company's progress and resources and evaluating if you're prepared to face the next year's challenges, uncertainties and opportunities is an excellent way to deter end-of-year fatigue, writes Tara Rethore, CEO of Strategy for Real. Taking that review to a personal level -- listing out this year's accomplishments and strengths and next year's goals for yourself and with your peers -- can also bring new energy, write Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, co-founders and CEOs of Amazing If.
Full Story: Chief Executive (12/14),  Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Put it into practice: Focus on your personal and professional growing edges in the new year, write Tupper and Ellis, outlining habits to develop, learning goals and people you'd like to network with during the new year. On a corporate level, identify workforce weaknesses that need shoring up and strategize ways to handle coming disruptions in your industry, Rethore advises.
 
Smarter Communication
Empathetic leadership needn't be a recipe for burnout
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Empathy is an important leadership skill, but it sometimes can be exhausting, so Stanford psychologist and neuroscientist Jamil Zaki recommends practicing "sustainable empathy." "When you adopt empathy in the workplace, you expose yourself to the emotional ups and downs of everyone you manage," and three strategies -- including avoiding martyr syndrome -- can help you avoid compassion fatigue, Zaki writes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (12/14) 
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Put it into practice: Learn the difference between emotional empathy and empathetic concern -- the latter is less likely to result in burnout, Zaki explains. Remember, too, that empathy is a skill. Practice yours so you're caring well rather than caring more, which means developing emotional balance.
Choosing flight over fight is understandable in the workplace, but "[a]voidance isn't sustainable" when it comes to issues that are tough to talk about, writes relationship professional, speaker and author Andy Lopata. Working to resolve the conflict yourself instead of waiting for someone else to step in is more likely to result in a satisfactory outcome that sticks, says Lopata says, who offers four tips for resolution.
Full Story: Psychology Today (12/14) 
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Put it into practice: Lopata's first step involves an intriguing way to view the problem from the other person's perspective. Next, explain how you perceive their concerns, share what you hope to achieve and find some common ground.
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Feeling stuck and unproductive? Time for a walk
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Enhance your productivity by getting up from your desk to move around, whether it's a walk outside, around the office or having lunch outside, moving your body can boost creativity and concentration, writes JiJi Lee. "The sunlight will re-energize you and the fresh air will clear your mind," Lee writes.
Full Story: Ink+Volt (12/14) 
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Daily Diversion
Practice makes perfect bird songs
(Ashraf Shazly/Getty Images)
Male songbirds are constantly singing to exercise their vocal muscles and produce high-quality calls to attract females, according to a study in Nature Communications. Researchers ran a series of experiments with zebra finches and discovered that when the birds were prevented from regularly singing, their singing quality declined to juvenile levels, and female birds preferred songs from a male who had been using his vocal muscles daily.
Full Story: National Public Radio (12/13) 
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I can testify to the effectiveness of a quick break from work to move around. Whenever I get stuck, I stand up and walk around my home office or, if I have the time, a jaunt around the block. Movement is a proven way to get unstuck and allow your creativity to start flowing again. Usually, I rush back to my desk to get some new idea down before it disappears!

How do you get unstuck? Has taking a walk or other movement been helpful? Tell me about it.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

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I'd rather not work than do a part I'm ashamed of.
Andre Braugher,
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1962-2023
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