[PODCAST] Leading Change with Empathy

An Interview with Lise Schwartz

HR practices need a 21st century upgrade. The future simply came too fast for Human Resources. Today is an existential moment for HR. The Huffington Post wrote recently The American Workplace is Broken. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs and 50 percent say it’s interfering with their sleep. Seven out of 10 employees are feel little or only some engagement at work. We can no longer expect our employees to compartmentalize their personal emotions and still show up to work at their very best. In fact, in this new age of HR, care for the whole employee should be the biggest goal.

What is causing all this stress and disruption? For this episode, we called upon Lise Schwartz. She is an executive leadership coach who is passionate about helping individuals and organizations understand and drive change in both work and personal lives. Listen as Lise talks about what drives change in the workplace.

Lise believes that “you can’t turn parts of your life completely off because you are trying to focus attention on the job” and that care for the whole employee should be a manager’s main goal. (On a previous episode we talked about one source of stress: caregiving.)

“It begins at the top,” Lise said. “Management needs to change the way they approach running the business.” So where does one start managing with a more holistic and healthy approach?

Business leaders need to recognize that personality types impact the way we communicate in both our personal and professional lives. Leaders and managers have a choice in their communication style. They can be either reactive or proactive to changes coming their way. Reactive leaders “fight fires.” They make decisions based off a crisis. Proactive leaders work to find solutions to problems before they turn into crises. They manage by “listening around” – actively listening to employee concerns.

“Great leaders look for better ways to do things.”

Lise believes “Great leaders look for better ways to do things.” They don’t manage by Command and Control but Ask, Trust, and Track. They are curious. The modern leader is humble enough to acknowledge that he doesn’t have all the answers and confident enough to be able to admit it. The best leaders in all aspects of life look to be accessible to the people around them. They are solution focused and not afraid to shift direction or ask questions. 

At one time, soft skills were dismissed as a sign of leadership weakness. Today Emotional Intelligence is high-demand skill. At the heart of emotional intelligence is empathy. True business leaders speak and listen with empathy as a way to better their company and themselves. 

One last word of wisdom from Lise, “Seek out people who might not agree with you.” By doing so, managers are encouraged to keep an open mind, and learn how different personality styles communicate effectively

Listen now to hear the rest of my interview with Lise Schwartz.

Related Resources:

[PODCAST] Why Emotional Intelligence is a Must-Have Skill

[VIDEO] Future Came Too Soon for HR

[ARTICLE] Keeping the Human in HR

[PODCAST] Crippling Costs of Caregiving Crisis

Connect with Lise Schwartz:

Website: http://liseschwartz.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liseschwartz/

Twitter:  @lise_schwartz