Empathy and Leaders

The Procurement Leaders Blog put up a post called One more rule for leaders: Be empathetic

Do we place ourselves in our suppliers shoes?  Do we imagine the worker’s family income stress?

When they suffer, do we feel, should we feel, pain?

I think you kmow I would vote yes. You can make people run far by methods that bring fear.  However, heart commitment to the point of true engagement is hard to come by and more valuable by far.

I was talking to a junior Engineering Manager the other day. I asked him a question about Engineering, and he mumbled.  He said I should ask the GM.  I could deeply feel his lack of ownership. In his mind, that issue was the GM’s problem and not his though it was an Engineering question. He would not even give his opinion.

I think you could clobber this guy harder, but I guess he has been bit for speaking his opinion. I bet he has no real understanding with the GM.

If the GM used some empathy and got on the same side of the table with this guy, he might take off.  I guess you could fire him.  Design Engineer Managers are hard to find though.

My read is even if they are not hard to find, we should treat people according to the Golden Rule.  We should consider them as much as we consider ourselves.   So three cheers for everyone trying to use empathy with stakeholders they are over in some way.  It takes real concern to motivate.   It can get you far and get a lot of smiles and openness.


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Posted in: Being the Right Person, Leadership, Motivating Workers

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