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About Your Heart: 5 Tangible Ways to Get Your Empathy Back

“Leadership is not a formula or program; it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.” Lance Secretan


It’s not a stretch to say that the best, most effective and even the most beloved leaders actually care. They feel. They “give a flying rip.”


It’s what separates good leaders from great leaders: Empathy.


Empathy: from the Greek word “empatheia”, physical affection or passion.


So, what happens when you stick a thermometer in yourself and, well, you don’t really care?


Don’t feel empathy… even the way you once did?


  • About their pain?

  • About their challenges?

  • About them period?

Not good, right? It’s going to affect your ability to motivate yourself… and if you’re a leader, motivate them.


Can you get empathy back?


Even as its being reported in Forbes that empathy in the workplace might be at an all-time-low. “Business is becoming, well, impersonal.”


The Bible (a pro emotion book) teaches:


“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Here are some things to do when you you’ve “lost that loving feeling.”


1. Cultivate empathy for others by tuning into yourself.


Sure, it sounds counter intuitive. But, when you discover how you feel, really feel, you can tune into others. Without “know thyself” it’s impossible to know others.


  • Journal.

  • Take a personal retreat.

  • Meet with a counselor, mentor or coach.

  • Spend time in the “Dream Shed!” LINK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

  • Practice noticing your own deeper emotions and feelings.



2. Create Time To Listen Deeply to Them

Get to know their story. Their dreams.Their hopes and fears.


One of my most effective coaching clients takes his team away each quarter and starts each time with storytelling.


Ask more “Tell me about you” questions.


If you aren’t asking them what they think and feel (emotional words) you are likely shutting them down.



3. Care Personally

Do something nice for them and watch your own heart come alive.


Send them a “Was just thinking about you text, email or note."


Or even better, as my friend, Frank Kelly, advises, leave a voice mail celebrating them or something you appreciate about them. (They’ll listen to it more than once!)



4. Show Individual Appreciation

Affirm them privately or even publicly by calling out something they do or did.


No one ever gets tired of being appreciated. True?



5. Remember that each of your team members or clients (even your spouse or children!) crave the chance to be part of something bigger than themselves.

They, like you, want to be part of creating real value in the world and receive appreciation and empathy in return.


Do the work to find and articulate the bigger purpose of your company, church, organization or family.


Then remind them they are part of changing the world in that significant way.


Choose just one or two of the above

Which one or two stick out to you? Where will you start?


When you intentionally cultivate empathy for others, you’ll be able to treat them with the same kind of respect, dignity and even love that you, yourself desire.


This is your week!


I appreciate you deeply!


Coach Jeff


Are you ready to experience the life-giving hope of transformational coaching for your life, leadership and career?


One of the things you receive as part of transformational leadership coaching is the opportunity to pause as you meet with your coach to process your life, your leadership, your career, your financial future.


"Your tenderheartedness and sincerity allowed me to be fully open and available to the process.” Robert Holcombe, Business Owner

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