Empathy and being aware are currently gaining popularity, and are key skills that leaders and managers should possess. Events in recent years, such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have caused a constant barrage of thoughts, fears and emotions today. Feelings within us can cause overwhelm, prevent us from consciously choosing, and being happy, and stop us from acting. They affect many aspects of our lives, including the professional zone. Current companies are placing a strong emphasis on empathetically taking care of their employees’ emotions, but more changes will be needed for this to translate into longer-term results. We need supervisors who are close to the people and who, above all, consciously manage themselves.
What should guide an authentic leader in his daily work?
In leading a team, daily personal development is key. An empathetic leader can be recognized by the fact that he starts with himself. How? It’s best to start by learning yourself why you react the way you do in a given situation, for what reason you feel such emotions, where the shaking of your voice, the tightness in your stomach, comes from at that moment. When you answer these questions yourself, work out solutions to your own pains, you will find your sensitivity and empathy.
We are also talking a lot these days about the topic of resilience and leaders who possess this trait. It gives organizations a chance to grow stably, despite operating in the so-called “greenhouse”. VUCA world is characterized by the ever-present: uncertainty, ambiguity, volatility and complexity. The skills a manager should acquire to cope with this adversity are the qualities proposed in the VUCA Prime model: vision, understanding, clarity and agility. They will allow you to act, achieve the desired results and more. Authenticity at work, awareness of one’s vision and high sensitivity are also important. Empathy and courage will also allow you to better understand your team. Being an authentic, sensitive leader is also about being able to let go of what has gone before, letting go of established patterns and learning from the instability of the world. In today’s world, it’s important to be a people-person and a people-leader, To quote Agnieszka Mazur, a trainer featured in the podcast Talent Story:
Today I don’t need to know everything, know everything, I can say today that I don’t know. And it’s my not knowing that doesn’t limit me from trying, touching new areas, or nimbly adapting to what’s around me.
By trying, we build our capacity to experience. Fear, changes in the world, should be a motivator to build something new and invite others to do so.
What will you know an authentic leader by?
In the words of Agnieszka Mazur, Authenticity is an opportunity to open up to vulnerability. Awareness that we have emotions and can draw strength from them show that we are able to talk about them in front of our team, encourage people to share them too, is a huge key to building courage.
It used to be that vulnerability was considered a disadvantage, it showed weakness, it was important to achieve goals, to be relentless, because after all, “business is business.” Currently, we are seeing a definite turn away from this. Employees no longer hide the fact that they need the support of their superiors during problems, and bosses are increasingly and willing to support them in difficult situations.
A leader that is authentic at work is aware not only of how he or she reacts to certain situations, but also of how team members-each and every one of them-respond. Without one’s own experience and awareness of one’s reactions, it is impossible to see other perspectives and understand others. That’s why personal development is so important. Anyone managing a team should ask themselves two questions:
- How often am I able to stand in front of myself and say that I’m having a hard time with something, that I can’t see where my actions are going?
- To what extent am I able to stand in front of my team and say that today is a completely different reality, we should act differently, and how do we start doing that?
This is courage, managing one’s own insecurities, one’s questions, emotions, sensitivities, only then can one lead teams well and manage the organization.
Authenticity in the HR industry
Recent years have brought many changes, especially in the HR industry. People need contact – whether working stationary or remotely. In companies, sensitivity, the desire to establish relationships and strengthen ties in the team are gaining importance. All you need to do is during the daily add calla a few words about life, show your cat, describe your plans for the weekend, and weave in “ordinary” conversation.
When it comes to recruiting, to quote our expert, authenticity in today’s recruitment is essential. When interviewing a candidate, it is important to feel a kind of “chemistry” with the person you are talking to. After all, we are hiring a specific person with his own history, difficulties in previous industries, having the experience we are looking for in a future employee. In addition to the information on the resume itself, talking about daily life is also important in the recruitment process. It can reduce the stress on both sides, as well as unveil sensitivity, show that there is… a human being on either side.
What else is worth keeping in mind when working with people?
Above all, try to ingrain the ability to use your own authenticity on a daily basis, especially when you are having a harder time with something. In situations when you don’t fully understand something, try to name what you see. It’s a good idea to talk honestly about your emotions using words, for example: at this point I feel anger, due to the fact that x and y are happening, what can we do about it? How can we collectively address this?
A conscious leader should encourage his team to be authentic at work. When he sees that an employee is having difficulty with a particular task, it’s a good idea for him to respond with a question along the lines of: “I see that you are having trouble with this, can I help you with something? Do you need something at this point?” According to our expert, this is the key to improving the world around us. Let’s remember that we are human, we have ups and downs, let’s not be afraid, to name what we see, let’s not be afraid to show what, we feel, let’s not be afraid to ask what we need. Awareness, authenticity are today the first step to courage, and courage builds us security. She is extremely necessary for us today…. – According to Agnieszka Mazur.
Taking the advice of our expert will help you improve your relationship with your team and, most importantly, with yourself. Learning to be authentic, developing sensitivity and awareness at work will add to the positive changes in organizational culture that we so desperately need right now. Well-being at work is the key to proper motivation and employee loyalty. That’s why it’s worth paying attention and starting with small steps to improve the comfort of your team.
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