The Importance of Developing Empathy as a Leader

Key Ways to Develop This Vital Trait Empathy is perhaps the most valuable skill for human beings to possess. There is increasing evidence that empathic living with others is the much-needed antidote to the self-absorbed individualism we’ve been suffering from as a culture and in the workplace for the last century. Author Roman Krznaric describes this as the movement from understanding humans as being primary driven by self-preservation, “homo self-centricus,” to being primarily socially connected to others, “homo empathicus.” We sat down with faculty member Andy Johnson to talk about the importance of empathy for leaders. What is empathy? I
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Yin Leader: Tony Hsieh

In the West, we tend to emphasize leaders who are competitive, aggressive, outgoing and charismatic (a.k.a. extroverted). Extroversion is yang. Yin leaders are different. This series highlights those differences, pointing to effective leaders from today and throughout history that exemplify the other side of leadership. In truth, we need both kinds of leaders to be healthy and balanced in our organizations. Tony Hsieh is the CEO of the online retailer Zappos.com. He is a great example of a yin leader who is challenging the status quo of yang-driven organizational thinking. He, along with the help of Brian Robertson, has created
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The Cost of Leadership Invalidation

Leadership is hard work. As Peter Drucker said, it’s not about personality traits or charisma, but about putting in the effort to actually do the work of leadership for the sake of others. Getting the work of leadership done is always taxing. But adding an additional burden in the form of unnecessary noise about our inadequacy makes the task that much harder. This is particularly the case with yin leaders. What is the impact of the noise in our heads as introverts or ambiverts that suggests that we are unqualified or incapable of leading well? Most of us have heard
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FAQs about Yin Leader Workshop

Yin Leader Workshop is a two-day intensive workshop for yin leaders (introverts & ambiverts) aimed at helping them better understand themselves and the misinformation they may have absorbed from the culture around them, begin to identify and work through the impact of the cultural bias, and begin to move toward an authentically yin leader who is comfortable and confident in their own skin. yin: a leader who doesn’t fit the Western extroverted stereotype of leadership, but who leverages an alternative set of competencies and natural talent patterns to lead in a different way As you consider attending or sponsoring someone
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Yin Leadership Development

There is a changing of the guard in the American workplace. Boomers are retiring. Busters remain only a small minority. Millennials are now the majority. Generation 2020 is coming. With the current shift in organizational demographics and leadership, the need for effective leadership development programs has never been greater. Large numbers of emerging leaders are in immediate need of effective training that will equip them to take open leadership chairs much sooner than previous generations. Many of these leadership development programs, however, are ineffective for a number of reasons. They’re too often off-the-shelf canned programs based almost exclusively on classroom
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Secondary Damage from Charleston

This past week was a hard one for the nation, the state of South Carolina and the city of Charleston. It was filled with the pain and sorrow that results from one person insanely deciding to take the lives of those he valued as worthless. No one is suffering more than the loved ones of the nine victims left behind. Our prayers and thoughts remain with them. We admire their courage and are inspired to see the way the community has responded with love in the face of hate, joining together to begin the long process of healing if ever
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Who Makes the Best Leaders?

This article was posted previously at Price Associates. Who makes the best leader? Extroverts? Introverts? It depends. According to a 2011 study, “research now suggests that leading in an intraverted manner is a key to success.”1 Context is everything. This statement, according to Adam Grant, University of Pennsylvania, Francesca Gino, Harvard University, and David Hofmann, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is true where employees that work for the introverted leader are proactive. What the study actually concluded was that the superior style of leadership varied according to this key organizational metric. For the more proactive employees, introverted leaders lead
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Socially Acceptable Discrimination

What do these four statements have in common? “I don’t think we’re ready for a black president.” “Women need to accept their place and stop trying to act like men in the workplace.” “I’m sorry I didn’t realize that you were Jewish, we try to hire team members from within our own.” “Introverts can’t be leaders. Leaders need to be charismatic, decisive, take-charge kinds of people.” Your answer? “Ignorance. Bigotry”? These statements (at least the first three) trigger appropriate feelings of anger in most informed civilized people. Obviously, the first three statements are clear examples of unacceptable and illegal discrimination
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Yin Leadership Challenge: Submissiveness and Passivity

Focusing on our strengths, building on them as opposed to our weaknesses is critical.  I have found by experience, however, that there is a difference between building on strengths and ignoring areas of weakness.  My honest opinion is that we benefit from both building and focusing on strengths and working to minimize obstacles and challenges. One of the most common challenges for more introverted leaders is a tendency toward submissiveness, or even passivity.  In the original theory that underlies the DISC assessment that I use to measure aspects of different behavioral styles, the D and the S were seen by
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