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Empathy Matters

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 29, 2009

Denial, anger, sadness, and fear are the quiet yet powerful human responses to upheaval inside and outside a business. Unfortunately these strong feelings radiate among your people at the very time you need them to do their best and most creative work. It’s important to take notice—to widen your perspective beyond your profit and loss statement—and address this undercurrent. Don’t hesitate to ask your people about their feelings, and listen with empathy. Take it in, do your best to help them accept conditions as they are, and you will create the flexibility necessary to thrive in uncertain times.

To coach yourself, prepare answers to the following questions:

a. In what ways have recent business conditions affected me and my people emotionally?

b. What questions can I ask them to understand this more fully?

c. How can I play a major role in helping my people accept and embrace conditions as they are?

David Peck
Executive Coach and President
Leadership Unleashed
Palm Springs, Calif.

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