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Four ways to increase your empathy

Four ways to increase your empathy

Leaders today need to build trust and rapport with their staff in order to keep them motivated and engaged. There’s one crucial ingredient that this requires – empathy. Building good relationships requires two-way communication where staff can give feedback, express their concerns and frustrations and feel ‘safe’ doing so. Too often than not, when communicating with staff, leaders are focussed on getting their point across, communicating what needs to be done, what should have been done or allocating tasks. Instead, leaders need to practice a bit more mindfulness starting with displaying more empathy by listening to what other people have to say about an issue. By increasing your empathy, you are increasing your desire to understand and care about others’ perspectives and see things from their point of view.  ..

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Let Go and Let Them Prosper

Let Go and Let Them Prosper

Many people in leadership positions struggle to let go of the reigns and allow their staff to work autonomously without feeling the need to constantly check up on them. This difficulty in letting go is generally caused by a lack of trust and can have detrimental effects on the motivation of staff and productivity.  ..

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The art of giving and receiving feedback

The art of giving and receiving feedback

Part of keeping your finger on the pulse when it comes to your own self-awareness and growth in the workplace, requires soliciting and graciously receiving feedback from the people you work with. But as easy as it sounds in theory, it’s something most of us find difficult. We often view negative or “constructive” feedback as an attack on our character and ability to do our jobs well. In fact, negative feedback is liable to catapult us into an emotional rollercoaster like the five stages of grief – initial anger, followed by denial, followed by (possibly) some wallowing and finally acceptance.  ..

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How to hire emotionally intelligent people

How to hire emotionally intelligent people

Since the early 90s, there has been much awareness of the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. The term is used to define how well someone can identify with and control their emotions. It describes someone’s capacity for self-control, self-motivation and perseverance and inter-personal skills. Although emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that it’s more beneficial to hire staff who already have high levels of emotional intelligence, than those that don’t. Higher levels of emotional intelligence far outweigh how many on-paper qualifications a person has, as an indicator of how successful they will be. Emotionally intelligent people make stronger team players, are more flexible and more adaptable to change, so much more likely to be a good fit for your company.  ..

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Managing Disagreements in the workplace

Managing Disagreements in the workplace

If you have read my previous posts, you’ll know I’m big advocate for encouraging open communication in the workplace. Constant two-way communication is vital for managers to get valuable feedback and for staff members to have their say and feel heard. But saying you encourage and welcome feedback, good and bad, is one thing. Having staff who actually feel comfortable enough to do so, is another thing altogether. ..

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Eliminating the blame game from the workplace

Eliminating the blame game from the workplace

Blaming is something that comes naturally to us. We have been casting blame on other people and circumstances for our mistakes in an effort of self-preservation since the day dot. But we know it’s not healthy, we know it can be toxic and counterproductive to our own creativity and learnings. There has been a lot of talk about accountability and the need for us all to be more accountable in our personal and professional lives. And for good reason… ..

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What makes an inspiring leader

What makes an inspiring leader

The great leaders in history have a quality that truly sets them apart from the rest. This quality, this charisma is described as Simon Sinek, New York Ties best-selling author as an ability to “think, act and communicate from the inside out”. But what does this really mean, and can everyday leaders and managers develop this ability? Sinek points out that the majority of leaders start from the outside in. They start with the “what”; “what are we trying to achieve”, “what are we trying to sell”. Exceptional leaders, on the other hand, ones that can inspire their followers, start with the “why”. The why being the purpose, or the bigger picture of what you are doing. It’s the “why” that then leads to the “what”.  ..

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Ten steps to giving and receiving feedback

Ten steps to giving and receiving feedback

The words “performance review” can strike fear, anxiety and discomfort into the hearts of employees all over the world. No one likes to feel scrutinised or criticised and the act of giving or receiving feedback in the workplace can be a daunting prospect amongst even the most resilient of us. But there is no point in shying away from it. It’s necessary and it’s unavoidable, so you may as well do it right.  ..

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Leading through tension

Leading through tension

Tension is unavoidable in the workplace. At any one time, managers and leaders will always have to face and tackle the conundrum of how to make progress on seemingly conflicting objectives at the same time. Leaders need to recognise that tensions are a normal state of affairs within the workplace and accept that there are no right or wrong answers when choosing which strategy to take and what goals to focus on. While there is no way in which managers can completely diffuse and avoid tension altogether, there are some excellent strategies for managing tension and cultivating an environment that embraces tension and ensure it stays positive and productive. Let’s look a little deeper into this idea. ..

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‘Unreasonable’ leaders are better than ‘reasonable’ ones

‘Unreasonable’ leaders are better than ‘reasonable’ ones

When was the last time someone gave you a reason for not doing something important, for not meeting a deadline, not performing to their best ability or not meeting a specific goal. If you are in a leadership position, chances are you hear reasons or excuses for underachievement fairly regularly. In fact, we live in a culture where blame is rife. We blame our colleagues, technology, company culture, transport, you name it, as an excuse for not performing to our best abilities. We are quick to offer up reasons why we didn’t keep our commitments. And if the reason is compelling or believable enough it will lessen or negate the impact of underperforming, letting us off the hook. And over time, we start believing that the reason is true which then limits what actions we can take to overcome the challenge. It’s a viscous cycle. ..

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