Value relationships and results to be a great leader

Lead with empathy to beat burnout and boost engagement | practice (split each time) | Value relationships and results to be a great leader
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March 1, 2024
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Leading the Way
Lead with empathy to beat burnout and boost engagement
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Empathy can be a leader's superpower, allowing them to connect at a deeper level with their team, which research shows can reduce burnout and sick days among staff, says Jamil Zaki, a research psychologist at Stanford University, who recommends leaders show vulnerability first and make it a regular part of company culture. "People who feel empathized with also tend to innovate more and take creative risks," Zaki notes.
Full Story: McKinsey (2/28) 
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Put it into practice: Learn to "empathize wisely," Zaki advises, which means not taking on another's feelings but expressing "empathic concern" to avoid compassion fatigue. "When we can be there for people without taking on their pain, keeping a psychological boundary even while we express genuine care, that can be a lot more sustainable."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
Value relationships and results to be a great leader
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The best leaders can paint a compelling vision for the future, value both results and relationships, embrace change and display a compassionate heart by seeking to add value to everyone, writes Mark Miller, the co-founder of Lead Every Day. "The more you attempt this, the more you'll become aware of how you can add value to others: encouragement, appreciation, coaching, correction, resources, connections, genuine compliments and so much more," Miller notes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (2/29) 
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Put it into practice: Push back on the employee disengagement trend by caring deeply about team members and finding ways to help them grow, Miller writes. "Leaders created this problem, and we are the only ones who can repair the damage."
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Leaders often have trouble getting some employees to jump the "visible and invisible barriers" needed to pursue clearly beneficial opportunities, and the hurdles tend to be psychological or involve the time and effort of learning or wading through red tape, according to Boston Consulting executives and Cass Sunstein of Harvard University. They offer details from real-life situations on various ways to tweak the circumstances or choices to propel the colleague to action.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (2/27) 
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Put it into practice: Leaders can try five strategies for greater success in such circumstances, evaluating existing opportunities and determining the most common visible and invisible reason for the lack of action. Leaders also can work to minimize the hurdles.
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Get your mind and body right each Friday
Why some doctors are giving "museum prescriptions"
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Some museums in France are collaborating with nearby medical facilities that issue "museum prescriptions" calling for doses of peace, quiet and art. Laure Mayoud, a psychologist and founder of a nonprofit that promotes culture as part of healing, says such prescriptions are "an invitation to contemplate what you like: music, poetry, or art," which can take you "outside of your own suffering."
Full Story: The Christian Science Monitor (2/28) 
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Daily Diversion
Some aptly named towns will see April's total eclipse
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When the moon eclipses the sun on Apr. 8, some uniquely -- and aptly -- named cities and towns will be in the path of totality, including Moon, Okla., Moon Beach, N.Y. and Corona, Mo. The most fitting location name, though, has to be Eclipse Island in the Canadian province of Newfoundland, which was named by British explorer Capt. James Cook after he witnessed an eclipse there on Aug. 5, 1766.
Full Story: USA Today (2/28) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
"Je pense, donc je suis" is the French translation of the Latin phrase "Cogito, ergo sum"; in English, "I think, therefore I am." But mathematician Rene Descartes' original French translation, when translated to English, was which of the following?
Vote"Being is existing"
Vote"I am, I exist"
Vote"Know thyself"
Vote"Let it be"
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
Developing your sense of empathy as a leader is vital to successfully growing your team's engagement and satisfaction with their work. Mark Miller reminds us that outcomes and relationships are not an either/or but a both/and choice. In fact, results improve if we're building relationships with each team member.

Jamil Zaki adds that while many believe empathy is "too soft and squishy for the work environment," it is a leader's superpower. Once we can connect emotionally and get to know our direct reports, they'll take fewer sick days and express a willingness to keep working for the company or organization.

Working on your empathy can be as simple as asking caring questions whenever you're talking with a colleague or direct report and publicly celebrating the acts of compassion and kindness on your team when you see it, Zaki suggests.

This is how we can "empathize wisely," as Zaki says, to avoid compassion fatigue.

How do you infuse your leadership with empathy? Let me know!

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

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Who Said It?

Don't give up. Don't give up the struggle. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Toni Morrison or Desmond Tutu

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