Seven Tips to Help You Become a ‘Supercommunicator’

7 Tips to become a super communicator

Every time the front door of my gym swings open and a member breezes into the space, the entrance staff cries out “Have a great workout!” Five years into giving limp waves in return, I bellied up to the desk and asked the staffers how they were doing.

Thus began my weeklong experiment in being one of the “super-communicators”. My bible was bestselling author Charles Duhigg’s zippy psychology self-help book of the same name. Inspired by his own chagrin at being a less than sterling conversational partner – with his children, wife and employees at his former workplace – he committed himself to learning how to talk to others in a way that makes them feel heard.

Supercommunicators are rarely the most dynamic people in the room. They are the normies who are blessed with the ability to make those around them feel truly understood. The benefits aren’t only altruistic. Supercommunicators are scarily good at getting what they want.

So here goes my week of trying to live like somebody who is fueled by more than nervous energy, and possessed with the true gift of gab.

Saturday: mirror their wants and needs

It’s my warm-up day, and I’m starting off with a low-stakes audience. After we talk about the post New Years crowds, I ask the gym’s front desk denizens what they all do when they’re not sitting behind a front desk. A bit of an overstep, perhaps, but they’re game. One tells me that he is an actor and poet. Another says he is still in high school and considering joining the military. And the woman tells me that she is a plus-size model.

I think of Duhigg’s “matching principle”– mirroring somebody’s wants and needs is a way of drawing them closer, so I tell her that I’ve been dreaming of becoming a silver hair influencer ever since I stopped dying my hair. (It’s true.) She chuckles and shares the information of a few modeling agencies I might consider hitting up. As I wrap up my conversation and head over to the treadmill, I feel like myself – but on speed.

Sunday: laugh your way into their heart

I swing by my parents’ place, determined to try out Duhigg’s advice about laughter, which he says is invaluable for forging bonds. I think of some of the giddy meetings I overhear taking place behind glass walls at work. What jokes can they possibly be telling? Turns out little of what people laugh at actually constitutes funny material. According to the work of the British researcher Robert Provine, the vast majority of laughter follows “rather banal remarks”.

Unfortunately, the conversation at my childhood home is more baleful than banal. My father and mother are looking after my sister’s elderly cocker spaniel, who is recovering from eye surgery. So I remember that pivoting the conversational tone to reflect the needs of others is another key Duhiggism. I ask my parents about the daily routine with their four-legged patient, then how they are feeling about their adventures in dog-sitting. (Small talk that moves past the surface and asks people how they feel about the information in play, is another Duhigg tip.) Turns out my parents have a lot to say.

Monday: use your influence

Many of the examples in Duhigg’s book end in a supercommunicator influencing others to land on a desired outcome. I decide to try to charm a customer service representative to give me a better deal on my fitness app. Sadly, there is no phone number available, so I strike up a conversation with the chat software. My partner tells me his name is Ken, and assures me he is a real human. I comment on the dreary east coast weather, dash off a sad face emoji, then put in what I hope is a low-key request for a lower monthly fee. Then I say I can imagine he might feel taken advantage of when people ask for more than he is equipped to give.

“I’m just having a difficult time answering your questions. I’m not really used to talking about myself, especially in this case,” Ken tells me. My next reply to him, studded with weirdly placed “lol”s, evidently scares him away. “We’re offline,” a text bubble informs me.

Tuesday: assess what kind of conversation is needed

I’ve done something to annoy my husband. I would tell you what it was, but that would annoy him even more. He’s quiet throughout dinner. Duhigg says that the first step to a successful dialogue with a loved one is to figure out what kind of conversation the other person is looking to have. He likens this to the way elementary school teachers ask their students in distress: “Do you want to be heard, helped, or hugged?”

The cornerstone of Duhigg’s strategy is grouping conversations into three overarching buckets: “What’s This Really About?” (the most goal-driven back and forths), “How Do We Feel?” (a forum for airing feelings, otherwise known as “venting”), and “Who Are We?” (where participants banter about the new TV show they’re obsessed with or gossip as a way to establish their tastes and identities). “Do you want to discuss what I can do differently in the future, or is this about how you’re feeling?” I ask my beloved after dinner. He grunts and buries his face in a magazine. I remain a stupidconnector.

Wednesday: prepare a list of topics to discuss

No-grain diets. E Jean Carroll. A mutual friend’s bizarre career pivot. So goes the list of topics I have prepared for a lunch date with a former colleague who, I fear, wants me to do him a favor. According to Duhigg’s book, showing up to a meeting with a list of conversational topics will obviate the need to scramble for chatter, thus freeing up participants to be present and leave the scene in better moods. Over cheeseburgers, I steer the chat through my premeditated agenda, and find myself feeling leagues less frenetic than usual. After the server has cleared our plates, my ex-colleague clears his throat. But he doesn’t want to ask me for a favor. He wants to tell me about his teenage child’s recent struggles. Humbled, I listen.

Thursday: repeat what they’re saying

I’m falling behind on a story (midday lunches have that effect). Per Duhigg’s findings, reading non-verbal cues is essential, so I ask my editor for a video chat and steel myself to deliver the news face to face. My colleague is harried – more than I would have realized had I shot off an excuse on Slack. I ask them to tell me more about the work on their plate. “Looping for understanding” is a Duhigg-suggested tactic of slowing down a difficult conversation by listening to the other person’s hardship, repeating what you’ve heard, and then sharing what you have to say.

I assure my editor that they are doing a phenomenal job. By the time I get around to my own update, the pressure in my chest has dissipated. It’s evident that my failure to file my article on time is the least of the editor’s worries.

Friday: pay attention to non-verbal clues

My family has dinner with friends. The wife is incredibly kind and brilliant but after years of social visits, I have yet to walk away feeling like we have much in common. I don’t even have her phone number! Tonight is going to be different, though.

Showing that you are listening is just half the battle, I now know. You need to actually pay attention – with your ears and eyes – picking up on clues, and steering the conversation accordingly. I tune into her moves like a hawk-eyed naturalist. I perk up when she says “yeah” or “uh-huh”, which is a sign of somebody being engaged (or “back-channeling”, as Duhigg calls it). I note when she interrupts me, a sign she wants to skip ahead. Our conversation is more loose and fun than I was expecting. As I am leaving we exchange phone numbers. And when I reach home, I see she has followed me on Instagram. Huzzah!

Source: Lauren Mechling, The Guardian

“Communication works for those who work at it.”
– John Powell

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

With Conversation Starters on Catalyst, teams have an easy and fun way to tackle common challenges that hinder performance and move to tangible change. By combining DiSC with simple discussion guides, teams can talk about personality-based differences and how they affect group performance.
 You will:

  • Get to know each other faster
  • Communicate more clearly
  • Make better decisions together

 Getting started is easy!

  1. Visit the Your Groups feature on Catalyst
  2. Create and save a group with people in your organization
  3. Click into Conversation Starters and choose a topic

How to Give Feedback to Employees: 7 Tips for Success

Feedback for employees: 7 tips for success

In the workplace, the ability to provide constructive feedback is one of the most important tools at a manager’s disposal, giving them the power to shape not only an individual’s performance but also the performance of their department or organization as a whole. However, like many aspects of managing people, providing input is an art that takes practice. To get started, here are some essential tips for how to give feedback to employees.

1. Recognize the impact of feedback

Understanding the value of feedback is the first step in delivering it effectively. It’s easy for busy managers to neglect feedback when they don’t understand the impact their words can have on their team members. We’ve all had feedback – good and bad. Take a moment to reflect on the impact feedback has had on your development. The right feedback at the right time can be so powerful on someone that it may inspire them to change their career, or their whole life. It’s hard to push feedback to the back burner when you’re aware of its potential for profound change.

2. Find their feedback style

Just as people have their preferred communication styles, they have different preferences when it comes to receiving feedback. While some may be energized by public praise, others may be embarrassed by it. How can you tell which style your employees prefer? It’s simple – ask them. And the earlier you do it in the relationship, the better. As part of a new employee’s onboarding process, make sure to ask, “How do you like to be recognized?” This will help your team members – and you – feel more comfortable during the feedback process.

3. Choose the right time and place

The environment in which feedback is delivered can make or break its reception. Choose an appropriate setting. “Praise in public, correct in private” is a safe mantra to follow.

Also, keep in mind the timing of feedback is crucial. Don’t put it off. Address situations promptly while the details are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Whether it’s positive reinforcement or constructive criticism, try to deliver it as soon as possible after the behavior or action. “Catch them in the act,” as the saying goes, to reinforce the performance (or eradicate it). For example, if you spot a team member doing an outstanding job with a customer, make sure to praise them right away for it, and they’ll be much more likely to repeat the action.

Finally, setting the stage is important as well. Make sure your employee is prepared for receiving feedback by asking them, “Do you have some time for me to share some feedback with you on [your last project]?” Especially if you have some constructive feedback, you don’t want to catch them by surprise.

4. Be concrete and specific

While it’s always nice to give an encouraging “Good job today,” aim to be specific about what exactly your associate did and the impact it had on the project or company. Vague or ambiguous feedback can not only lead to confusion but also to hurt feelings in the case of constructive feedback. Such clarity will help your employee understand the feedback better as well as provide a road map for improvement.

5. Reconsider the compliment sandwich

The “compliment sandwich,” also known as the “feedback sandwich,” is a classic method of delivering constructive feedback by “sandwiching” areas for improvement between two positive remarks. While this approach can take the sting out of negative comments, for that very reason, it can underemphasize areas that need improvement.

When using the “positive-negative-positive” approach, it’s best to follow up this feedback sandwich with a dessert, so to speak, of checking for understanding and making a plan. Checking for understanding can be as simple as asking, “Does this make sense to you?” Open up the door for a two-way conversation at this point. Next, rather than putting your employee on the spot and asking for a plan then and there, ask them when they can give you a plan to correct the situation – and get a specific date.

6. Remember: It’s a dialogue, not a monologue

When giving feedback, stay mindful and show your employee respect by making sure the environment is distraction-free, for example, by putting your phone on silent. Invite your employee to share their thoughts and listen intently. Who knows, you may learn something important from your employee or identify an opportunity for improvement that will strengthen their performance. Above all, they’ll feel more engaged and empowered to take an active role in their work.

7. Follow up

A continuous cycle of feedback can have a powerful impact on behavior. Following up on your last feedback session will show that you care about how your employee is doing. It also gives you the opportunity to validate successful behaviors and to discourage less successful ones. The result is better communication with your team and faster growth and development.

Source: Chris Brennan, Insperity

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That is how we improve.”
– Bill Gates

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Group map

The main feature is the Group map. Similar to the group map and poster available through the Group Culture and Group Facilitator reports, the map shows everyone’s dot location and their icon from Catalyst. This tab also shows the group members and their priorities and this list can be filtered by primary DiSC style. The “more info” link will take you to the “Your colleagues” comparison page with that person.

Groups Video

 

 

Leading Through Change: Your Guide to Successful Change Initiatives

Your guide to successful change initiatives

When leading through change, you must manage your team’s progress toward your goal as well as your employees’ attitudes throughout the experience.

Sometimes managing change calls for grace periods as your staff absorbs and understands a transition. Sometimes it calls for realism that’s not too sugarcoated. At all times, change calls for strong, consistent communication from the top of the organization before, during and after a change cycle.

What do your employees want to hear during change initiatives?

1. “Here’s what’s happening, and here’s why”

When you know a change is coming, share the news with your employees as soon as possible. This initial communication, where you articulate the need for change in your organization, initiates the change cycle.

Your employees may go on to experience:

  1. Shock
  2. Denial
  3. Frustration
  4. Depression
  5. Experimentation
  6. Decision-making
  7. Integration

To soften the initial news, make the big picture clear, shedding as much light on the situation as you can. Explain why the change is important to your organization and how it will affect your company in a positive way.

The sooner your employees hear from you when change is coming, the more time they have to process it. And the better they understand the reasons behind a change, the easier it will be for them to get on board.

2. “Here’s how this is going to benefit you

Don’t stop after you’ve explained how a change will benefit your business, even if you receive more support than resistance. Your employees may not articulate it, but they will probably be wondering: What’s in it for me?

You can gain your employees’ trust by anticipating these natural concerns. Consider how each group and individual will profit from the change. How will it make their work lives better? Be ready to point to these benefits when speaking with your employees. Look for ways to make the changes matter to them on an individual level.

3. “Here’s our goal”

Are you excited about what your organization will look like on the other side of this change? Invite your employees to envision it with you. Share your chief goal for the future, and reference it often.

Each person must decide to push through the discomfort that change requires – it will take some employees longer than others – and join you in working toward a new goal. Having a clear target can keep your team unified and encouraged even as they process and adapt to change at different speeds.

4. “I don’t have all the answers, but let’s talk through this”

You’ll speak openly. You’ll speak clearly. You’ll speak confidently. But will you speak vulnerably? And will you ask your employees to share their thoughts, too?

To lead through change well, you should strive for openness. Be transparent addressing the questions you don’t have answers to. Make sure your team is comfortable sharing their thoughts and questions.

If successful, you’ll appear more genuine and trustworthy. Transparent leadership, coupled with the opportunity to share opinions, gives your employees a greater sense of control over the situation, too. The result? Staff who are more likely to feel they’re making changes with you, rather than feeling that something is happening to them.

5. “Let’s strategize together”

Once your employees have asked their initial questions and shared opinions on the change, it’s time to include them in the transition. Asking for their ideas again – after they’ve had time to process a change – helps further. That’s because your employees are more likely to become invested and collaborative if they get the opportunity to think strategically and offer valuable input.

6. “Tell me how you’re feeling through this”

Check in on your people at various points in the change cycle. Remember, no two employees are alike in their pace of processing change. Someone who seemed open to the idea early on may struggle later, in the middle of the actual changes. That’s why it’s important to keep checking in, especially if you notice disheartened attitudes.

You can reach out to your whole group during team meetings and to individuals who seem to need it most during one-on-ones.

Dig deeper in these conversations by asking:

  • Are you experiencing any roadblocks?
  • How can I help you through this?

Mention any resources your organization provides that could help manage their stress and change fatigue, such as an employee assistance program.

7. “It’s time to join us”

Leaders sometimes run into an individual who won’t accept change and begins to take a disruptive stance against it. If a negative attitude becomes a performance issue, it may be time for a difficult conversation where you insist the employee finds a way to adjust and come along with the rest of the team.

Occasionally, the best choice for everyone might be for the employee to switch teams or otherwise part ways. But hopefully, you can avoid this outcome and even these conversations by leading and communicating well from the outset.

8. “We’ve gotten this far today”

Celebrate small achievements as your team works to adjust to or implement a change. Notice what has gone well, and bring their attention to it. Show gratitude for your team’s efforts and positivity.

Words of affirmation alone can lift employee spirits; allowing them to break for the day a few hours early or giving another small reward can show that you’re truly thankful for their contributions.

9. “Well done”

Affirm efforts along the way and celebrate in a big way when your team has brought you through an important change. Rewards could include public recognition, time off, extra help and more. The key to meaningful recognition is understanding what matters most to your team and giving them something that’s important to them.

Be gracious toward yourself, too

To have the emotional energy needed to take care of employees during seasons of change, leaders can’t neglect themselves in the process. Know your personal support system and reach out when your energy or enthusiasm wanes.

Keep reminding employees about how the changes will positively affect them, and show respect for each person’s unique response to the situation.

Source: Michelle Kankousky, Insperity

“Old ways won’t open new doors.” 
– Unknown

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Applications
Catalyst offers a range of DiSC application content- including Workplace, Agile EQ, and Management- designed to help learners develop the social and emotional know-how for more effective interactions at work.

8 Tips to Help Employees Practice Empathy at Work

8 tips to practice empathy at work

So, what does it actually look like for employees to practice empathy with each other? Here are some easy ways to incorporate empathy into a daily routine.

1. Assume best intentions of others

When we don’t understand someone’s perspective, it can be easy to assume the worst about them. However, this mindset allows negativity and potentially inaccurate biases to flourish and can destroy relationships.

Instead, approach each interaction with team members with a positive view. There may very well be more to the story underlying their behavior that you don’t yet know.

2. Listen more than you speak

When a team member discusses a challenge they’re experiencing, don’t interrupt them with tales of how you experienced something similar or offer unsolicited advice for what you think they should do. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and understood.

In these moments, practice active listening skills, which involves:

  • Focusing on what is being said
  • Making eye contact
  • Acknowledging what someone has said by repeating it back or requesting clarification on certain points
  • Avoiding nonverbal communication that could convey a lack of interest, such as fidgeting
  • Minimizing distractions

3. Ask questions

Don’t rely on your assumptions about a situation. Respectfully and thoughtfully ask team members questions so you can better understand the challenge they’re facing or their perspective on an issue.

4. Validate others’ feelings

Show that you recognize and understand what others are feeling, which is a critical part of conveying nonjudgment and building trust. You can say things like, “I’m sorry you’re experiencing this problem. I’m sure it must be so frustratingI appreciate your letting me know what’s going on.”

5. Step outside your comfort zone

Your biases can impact how you perceive others, especially those team members of different backgrounds and experiences. Remember: Different doesn’t equate with wrong or bad. To be more empathetic, you may just need to open yourself up to new experiences and broaden your way of thinking.

  • Be open to meeting new people in the office – even seeking out people who are different from you.
  • Consider others’ ideas and learn from them.
  • Challenge your own biases.

This can encourage diversity of thought as well as inclusion in the workplace.

6. Offer to help

One of the questions you should ask a team member who’s struggling is, “How can I help you?” For example, if they’re overwhelmed with their current workload, you could take some responsibilities off their plate or volunteer to serve as their back-up. This also demonstrates that you’re a team player.

7. Recognize others’ accomplishments or strengths

When people feel valued, it can help them overcome a challenge or setback. To remind team members of their worth, use peer recognition. Call them out in front of others for their:

  • Talents they bring to the table
  • Goals they’ve met
  • Achievements they’ve secured
  • Hard work

8. Take care of yourself

You can’t be empathetic to others if you’re stressed out, in a negative mindset and not taking care of yourself. Prioritize your wellbeing and work-life balance so you’re most likely to engage team members in a respectful and productive way.

Source: Kimberly J. Shaw, Insperity

“Like many things in life, your compassion is a skill that can be exercised.”
– Simeon Lindstrom

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

DiSC Management

Management on Catalyst uses Everything DiSC to provide insights about an individual’s personal management style while also providing tips on how to improve the following management specific skillsets:

  1. Directing & delegating
  2. Creating a motivating environment
  3. Developing talent
  4. Managing up

Everything DiSC Management on Catalyst will guide managers with specific tips on how to perform these tasks with anyone on their team. The DiSC Management tips on Catalyst are unique because all of the information is personalized to the user. The insights provided are dynamically customized based on a user’s personality style.

5 Steps to Engage the Heart and Mind at Each Stage of a Conversation

5 Steps to engage the heart and mind in a conversation

As a leader, you will navigate a business landscape demanding speed, adaptability, and courage. You’re faced with balancing swift decision-making with a need to initiate and engage in discussions on vital topics such as performance, profitability, and change management. These are important conversations, and let’s face it, they can sometimes feel tough.
The following five steps provide a framework to prepare key messages to achieve the objectives of the conversation (practical needs) and consider how to engage the heart and mind at every step, ensuring people feel valued, understood, supported, and respected (personal needs).

1. Open: Clearly describe the purpose of the discussion and explain why it’s important.

2. Clarify: Seek and share information about the situation. This step is often skipped, but remember you may not have the full picture. Be curious about the situation and listen with empathy.

If you demonstrate an understanding of the context elements, people are more likely to trust your intention. Overcome resistance by sharing data to support your perspective:

  • I can see this caught you off guard. Why don’t I share the survey data, and we can discuss how to address the problem?”

Oversee this step if you are on the practical side of the continuum.

3. Develop: Use your understanding of the situation to seek and discuss ideas. Explore needed resources and support.

It is often useful to involve others to share their ideas and suggestions before offering your own. Involving people sparks their creative energy and can generate better ideas. But most importantly, when you involve others in the ideation, they will be more committed to putting their own ideas into action. Overcome resistance by sharing your own experience:

  • “What am I supposed to do now? I’ve never dealt with this before.”
  • “The first time this happened to me, it was a real blow to my confidence, but it helped me grow. Let’s come up with ways to mitigate the issues.”

  1. 4. Agree: Ensure understanding and agreement of who will do what and by when. If you end the discussion without agreeing on actions, you risk people leaving the discussion unclear about what to do next. Confirm how to track progress and offer support. Watch this step carefully if you are on the personal side of the continuum.

  1. 5. Close: The closing gives you a chance to briefly summarize what was discussed and agreed to. This helps ensure commitment to actions as well as builds both parties’ confidence and esteem in achieving the plan.

Source: DDI, 2023

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.”
– Charlie Kaufman

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

DiSC Management

Management on Catalyst uses Everything DiSC to provide insights about an individual’s personal management style while also providing tips on how to improve the following management specific skillsets:

  1. Directing & delegating
  2. Creating a motivating environment
  3. Developing talent
  4. Managing up

Everything DiSC Management on Catalyst will guide managers with specific tips on how to perform these tasks with anyone on their team. The DiSC Management tips on Catalyst are unique because all of the information is personalized to the user. The insights provided are dynamically customized based on a user’s personality style.

3 Steps on How to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

how leading with emotional intelligence drives engagement

When emotions run high, it may be tempting for leaders to want their teams to discard their feelings at the door, focusing on the work at hand. But attempting to create a feelings-free workplace is never the solution. Leading with emotional intelligence will have a better short- and long-term payoff.

The problem is rarely that leaders are coldhearted. Rather, leaders feel the pressure themselves and are trying to control their own stress. They are faced with monumental tasks to pivot the company and their teams. They feel the weight on their shoulders to show a brave face for their team and keep the cogs turning. And it may seem counterproductive to focus on feelings when there’s so much work to be done.

But ignoring their team’s emotions can lead to disengagement. Employees may struggle to put in the bare minimum effort. And high-performing employees become a risk for burnout and leaving.

Not only do business results suffer, but it can take a deep physical and mental toll on employee health.

That’s why leading with emotional intelligence is so important.

Step 1: Acknowledge Personal Derailers

Remember the classic airline advice to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting other passengers? We recommend a similar approach to leadership. When leaders don’t have a handle on their own stress, they will struggle to support others. As a result, their negative personal tendencies, what we call derailers, start to show up under stress.

Derailers are the “dark side” of our personality, and we all have them. These include personality traits like becoming argumentative, controlling, or impulsive under stress. We can’t change our personalities, but we can learn to manage our reactions and responses under stress.

4 Ways to Manage Derailers

  1. Anticipate upcoming stressful situations and ask yourself, “What outcome do I really want?” Then, if you start to feel stress coming on once you get in the situation, PAUSE and count to 10 (or at least 5!). Taking a moment before you respond can help make sure you respond in a way that reflects your intentions.
  2. Acknowledge, but don’t celebrate your derailers. If you overreacted to something, you could apologize. But apologies wear thin after a while. It’s not OK to use derailers as a justification, i.e., “I’m sorry, but I just had to say that…I am impulsive.”
  3. Manage your physical and emotional health to support keeping yourself in the best state of mind.
  4. Practice, practice, practice!

HR and leadership coaches can also help leaders manage their own emotions. They can help identify leaders who are under the most stress and talk with them about managing their emotional triggers. They can also help leaders pause by asking key questions such as “Which upcoming situations are most concerning?” Or “What type of outcome is important to you?”

Then leaders can begin planning for the challenges ahead of managing their own emotions while leading with emotional intelligence.

Step 2:  Read the Room

Leaders need to work on recognizing emotions in others. In other words, they need to practice empathy.

However, some leaders confuse empathy with sympathy. Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s perspectives. Sympathy is feeling pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

Many leaders struggle to show empathy because they think it means they have to feel bad for the person or they can only respond if they have faced similar scenarios firsthand, i.e., “I’m sorry you’re feeling so stressed. I understand why you didn’t get the report done.”

But that’s not the case. Empathy does not require you to agree with the person’s opinions or actions. It’s simply the acknowledgment of how they’re feeling and why they are feeling that way.

For example, a leader can empathize by using a straightforward formula:

“It sounds like you’re_(feeling)__ because / about ___(fact)____.”  

In an actual conversation:

“From all you’ve shared, it sounds like you’re overwhelmed because there are so many competing priorities right now.”

Empathy also doesn’t require leaders to have the answers.

Leaders often fall into the trap of wanting to “fix” situations for their employees, but until they have demonstrated true active listening by capturing the facts, feelings, and showing that they understand how the person feels then they cannot move to the practical next steps.  Acknowledging feelings of uncertainty, stress, and pressure to perform goes a long way to helping people feel understood. As a result, they can feel more engaged and motivated to be part of the solution.

Step 3: Be a Part of the Solution

The final step is the one that drives results. As leaders get a handle on their own emotions and the emotions of their teams, they can start to mobilize people toward what needs to be accomplished.

Leaders can mobilize their teams by seeking three things:

  1. Seek perspective: “What do you see as the biggest impact from the changes?”
  2. Seek help: “Which priorities seem to be competing the most?”
  3. Seek ideas: “What’s a better way I can communicate the priorities so you truly know what is a priority?”

And then comes the hard part: Leaders need to listen to and act on their team’s feedback. That doesn’t always mean doing what teams suggest. But they do need to find a way to acknowledge and incorporate comments into the final solution. Even when team ideas won’t work, leaders can build trust by sharing rationale for why suggestions will not be incorporated.

Source: DDI, 2023

“When awareness is brought to an emotion, power is brought to your life”. 
– Tara Meyer Robson

Did you know this about disc?

DiSC is an assessment that aids with effective communication

Agile EQ Edition

Everything DiSC Agile EQ doesn’t just measure a person’s EQ. It provides a foundation for improving EQ by focusing on observable behaviors that are measured by DiSC.
Agile EQ helps learners understand their emotional responses by using both the language of DiSC and a new concept called Mindsets. The Agile EQ Mindset map helps learners recognize what behaviors are associated with the different mindsets(below).