Tag: Emotions

How Empathy Can Make You a Better Team Leader

How Empathy Can Make You a Better Team Leader

Empathy is one of the greatest interpersonal skills because it allows you to have better communication with your team and increases your understanding of the team members. We know empathy can simply mean to ‘put ourselves in the other person’s shoes’, but it can also mean to take an active role in getting to know the members of your team and treating them with the respect they deserve.

Listening and Paying Attention to Your Team

We all know that there is a difference between hearing and listening, but yet we still seem to confuse the two when we communicate with other people. Listening is considered a skill, so like any other skill it must be implemented and strengthened. Listening allows for you to understand what a team member is talking about and register what they are trying to communicate. Building better listening skills starts with learning to pay attention when a team member speaks and actively listening to what they are saying. Key tips to help accomplish this are to give your attention to the person by facing them and making eye contact. Turn off any cell phones or pagers or remove any item from the area that can distract you and make you lose focus. You’ll find that you will catch more of what the team member is saying and be able to retain more. Paying attention and building better listening skills can show support for the members of your team and build rapport with them.

Tips for better listening skills:

  • Remove any distractions
  • Make eye contact with the team member speaking
  • Nod your head periodically
  • Ask for follow up details or information
  • Ask the the team member to repeat anything you may have missed

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Don’t Judge Other Team Members

No matter how many times we hear the old phrase “Don’t judge people” or “It’s not our place to judge”, we more than likely find ourselves doing it anyway – we just don’t want to admit it. Whether subconsciously or not, we still find ourselves judging those around us, whether it is based on their clothes, job title, the way the talk or walk, gender, hair color, skin color, and etc. When someone on the team is speaking or completes a task, what do you think in your head? Do you automatically make comments on how their assignment was too easy or that the way they speak is subpar to the team. Of course you would never say this out loud or tell them directly, but in your mind you have already made up your mind about them.

Thoughts like this cause us to judge people more and more, which can create barriers between people and lose connections and chances to network over time. Every person has an “inside person” and an “outside person” – we see the outside person every day and try to form our own opinions without seeing everything first. Don’t forget that there is an “inside person” as well that has an entirely different side.

Shift Your View

Empathy is simply defined as putting yourself in another person’s shoes and seeing things from their point of view. When communicating with another team member, think about how it would feel to be in their shoes and do the things they have to do. How would you feel if you have to complete their assignment in the weekly meeting or if you have to conduct a speech in front of hundreds of people?

Shifting your view does not mean that you have to entirely give up your opinions and what you think. It involves taking a few minutes to stop and reflect on the actions and words of the other team member and picturing yourself in their situation. Think about what it would be like to stand in their shoes in the conference room or in front of the new manager. By doing this, we can better understand why they may act or speak a certain way and what can drive them to do what they do. By showing empathy, you are able to connect with this person and create an important relationship to have in the workplace.

Don’t Show Fake Emotions to Your Team

In social situations it is never a good idea to fake our emotions or how we feel toward others. Of course, this does not mean we have full permission to start tearing into people and ripping them to shreds if we didn’t like their recent speech. But if you are not entirely happy about something in the team or feel anxious about something else, it is not a good idea to fake a smile or laugh just to appear happy.

This ‘fakeness’ will more than likely be detected, which can offend others around you or even make them feel insecure. Instead, be honest about how you feel and show honest concern for your peers. Be tactful if delivering negative feedback and offers helpful tips for improvement or changes. Although they may not accept your true feelings at first, and may even seem angry about it, in the end they will appreciate the fact that you were honest with them and didn’t show a mask of fake emotions with them.

 

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Build a Stronger Team Using Empathy

Build a Stronger Team Using Empathy

Empathy is one of our greatest interpersonal skills because it allows us to have better communication with our team members and increases our understanding of others. We know empathy can simply mean to ‘put ourselves in the other person’s shoes’, but it can also mean to take an active role in getting to know your team members and treating them with the respect they deserve.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Listening and Paying Attention to Your Team

We all know that there is a difference between hearing and listening, but yet we still seem to confuse the two when we communicate with our team. Listening is considered a skill, so like any other skill, it must be implemented and strengthened. Listening allows for you to understand what the team member is talking about and register what they are trying to communicate. Building better listening skills starts with learning to pay attention when team members speak and actively listening to what they are saying. Key tips to help accomplish this are to give your attention to the team member by facing them and making eye contact. Turn off any cell phones or pagers or remove any item from the area that can distract you and make you lose focus. You’ll find that you will catch more of what the person is saying and be able to retain more. Paying attention and building better listening skills can show support for the other person and build rapport with them.

Tips for better listening skills:

  • Remove any distractions
  • Make eye contact with the person speaking
  • Nod your head periodically
  • Ask for follow up details or information
  • Ask the person to repeat anything you may have missed

Don’t Judge Other Team Members

No matter how many times we hear the old phrase “Don’t judge people” or “It’s not our place to judge”, we more than likely find ourselves doing it anyway – we just don’t want to admit it. Whether subconsciously or not, we still find ourselves judging those around us, whether it is based on their clothes, job title, the way the talk or walk, gender, hair color, skin color, and etc. When another team member is speaking or completes a task, what do you think in your head? Do you automatically make comments on how their assignment was too easy or that the way they speak is subpar to the team. Of course you would never say this out loud or tell them directly, but in your mind you have already made up your mind about them.

Thoughts like this cause us to judge people more and more, which can create barriers between people and lose connections and chances to network over time. Every person has an “inside person” and an “outside person” – we see the outside person every day and try to form our own opinions without seeing everything first. Don’t forget that there is an “inside person” as well that has an entirely different side.

Shift Your View

Empathy is simply defined as putting yourself in another person’s shoes and seeing things from their point of view. When communicating with another team member, think about how it would feel to be in their shoes and do the things they have to do. How would you feel if you have to complete their assignment in the weekly meeting or if you have to conduct a speech in front of hundreds of people?

Shifting your view does not mean that you have to entirely give up your opinions and what you think. It involves taking a few minutes to stop and reflect on the actions and words of the other person and picturing yourself in their situation. Think about what it would be like to stand in their shoes in the conference room or in front of the new manager. By doing this, we can better understand why they may act or speak a certain way and what can drive them to do what they do. By showing empathy, you are able to connect with this team member and create an important relationship to have in the workplace.

Don’t Show Fake Emotions to Your Team

In social situations it is never a good idea to fake our emotions or how we feel toward others. Of course, this does not mean we have full permission to start tearing into people and ripping them to shreds if we didn’t like their recent speech. But if you are not entirely happy about something in the team or feel anxious about something else, it is not a good idea to fake a smile or laugh just to appear happy.

This ‘fakeness’ will more than likely be detected, which can offend others around you or even make them feel insecure. Instead, be honest about how you feel and show honest concern for your fellow team mates. Be tactful if delivering negative feedback and offers helpful tips for improvement or changes. Although they may not accept your true feelings at first, and may even seem angry about it, in the end they will appreciate the fact that you were honest with them and didn’t show a mask of fake emotions with them.

 

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Getting Your Team On Your Side

Getting Your Team On Your Side

“It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.” – Nelson Mandela

Today, we are looking at the ways you can bring your team to your side. Particularly, we will discuss the persuasive techniques of appealing to your team members’ emotions and reason.

Appealing To The Emotions Of Your Team Members

Emotions have always been a driving force for people’s behavior. Advertisers appeal to emotions all the time; they tell you that so-and-so beauty product can make you feel confident around the opposite sex, while so-and-so theme park can make you forget all your worries. There are those who begin a relationship based solely on how the other person made them feel. More so, advocacies, political campaigns, and even wars are waged, based on a collective sense of anger, contempt, or injustice.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Thus, you can never underestimate emotions as a way of influencing and persuading other people.

Why are emotions powerful? For one, emotions heavily influence a person’s sense of comfort and general state of well-being. Positive emotions make us feel good, while negative emotions drive us to do something to make us feel good.  But more so, emotions connect all of us to the “human” side of ourselves . Almost all emotions are universal and can cross race, religion, age, and social status.

How you can add some  emotion when you communicate with your team:

Focus on positive emotions as benefits.
If you want to bring a team member to your side, tell them how well the proposal will make them feel. For example: if you want to convince your spouse to take you on that dream vacation, describe how relaxing a day you’ll have. If he can picture it in his mind, then you’ve succeeded.

Focus on a negative emotion, and then add a call to action.
Negative emotions are powerful in influencing behavior because they bring about a sense of dissonance in a person. All people want to feel good, which is why anger, sadness, shock, or indignation doesn’t sit well with most. An example of using a negative emotion to bring people to your side is describing the horror of an accident in order to convince people to wear their seat belts.

Show that it’s personal.
Instead of focusing on the other person’s emotions, you can focus on communicating your own. An effective way to persuade your team members are to show that your conviction is borne of a personal experience, and that you are emotionally attached to an idea. For example, showing your excitement verbally and non-verbally while explaining an ideal can show that you really believe in what you are pitching.

Emotions can be communicated through body language, variations in voice pitch, intonation and emphasis, directly saying what you feel or what you want the team members  to feel, and painting a picture of situations where an emotional response is expected.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

And don’t forget: to use emotions effectively, use the appropriate amount. Less can be more, so don’t overdo it!

Use Facts To Appeal To The Minds Of Your Team Members

While emotions are a powerful influence to people’s behavior, we all know that people are not just a bundle of emotions. Some situations require an appeal to the mind instead of the heart. An effective communication must make sense. More so, it must have basis in facts.

Facts create persuasive arguments because there is no way to dispute facts. If something is true, real, or verified by research, it has to be accepted. More so, presenting facts in communication show the extent that you have studied a subject, which in turn shows that you are serious in what you are saying.

There are two skills that can help in the use of facts during communication with your team:

The first skill is the ability to separate fact from opinion.
Facts are objective data, and can be verified by credible procedures such as empirical research or expert opinion. It is considered true on the basis of actual evidence. An opinion, however, is a subjective statement that may be based on personal interpretation.

The second skill is the ability to create logical arguments from facts.
Facts can’t be disputed, but you also have to use them properly in order to give them impact. Arguments from facts have to follow the rules of deductive or inductive reasoning.

Conclusion

For best results, use both emotion and facts to influence your team. After all, people use both their heart and mind in their daily lives, and addressing both is a more holistic approach to take.

The key is in being consistent, so that there isn’t a dissonance between the emotional and the rational side of your communication. Done correctly, appeals to emotion can balance the coldness of reason, and facts can temper strong emotions.

 

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