I have been genuinely shocked by the number of people I have either worked with or talked to who have told me stories about the unkindness, hostility and toxic attitudes in their workplaces.
I am realistic enough to know that some workplaces experience a huge amount of pressure. I’m not suggesting that we all go around hugging each other, telling our staff how wonderful they are and what great work they are doing. However, the lack of basic decency perturbs me greatly.
What leaders seem unable to grasp is the simple fact that the smallest bit of consideration, kindness and empathy can utterly transform a workplace. Believe me, I have seen it happen. Throwing your weight around and behaving in a superior fashion displays a complete lack of self-awareness, self-confidence and integrity.
You think your staff are going to work for you because they are afraid of you? Think again.
Instead of taking out your frustrations on your staff, let’s try something different – try practising a bit of empathy. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be in their position? Do you have any idea what their job is like and why they behave the way they do?
They don’t need mollycoddled; they need to be understood. Therein lies the transformative power of empathy for both individuals and teams. You don’t have to be a manager or leader either to practise it. All employees benefit. It benefits you more than it benefits the other person and if you don’t believe me, try it.
I genuinely don’t understand where this approach of the tough, bullying leader came from, but it needs to change if we are to develop as a society. The organisational culture must change, but that starts with the individual and it starts with the individual who has the courage to stand up and speak out. Or the individual who has the strength of character to show kindness and empathy even if that may make them appear weaker. Just the opposite is true.
My greatest fulfilment comes from seeing a client take the psychometric assessment I use (which measures motivation, adaptability, decisiveness, empathy, self-awareness, influence and conscientiousness) and begin to understand both how their behaviour is impacting on themselves and others. Once they take corrective action the results are always powerful.
If you would like to have a 1-hour free consultation to discuss how I may be able to assist your organisation, please get in touch. For a short course on Empathy on my website click here:
“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fibre of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.