Leading through serving – In a nutshell, expert advice from Sara TraynorClick here to view the transcript
Leading through serving can encompass many aspects including listening, empathy, self-awareness, vision, people development and building community.
Let’s focus on one of these – empathy – and walk through a simple exercise in leading through serving.
Empathy is having a vivid imagination of what it would be like to be in another person’s position. Teams, peers, bosses, customers or stakeholders. Do we actively challenge ourselves to imagine what it’s like to be them?
If you’d like to increase your empathy, try this. Next time you’re in a meeting, pick one person in the room and ask yourself:
What are they thinking right now? How are they feeling? What are their goals, their hopes and fears? What can I offer? What do they need? How can I help them achieve their goals?
Critically, this is not for your own gain. It is not an exercise in influencing and negotiating, nor in forming strategic alliances. This is an exercise in helping and serving, with no expectation of anything in return.
This may sound infeasible in your business. But ask yourself this: when has anything of any worth been achieved by a team of people working against each other rather than for each other?
Increasing your skills in empathy will help your people and your organisation flourish.