31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 6 – Empathy

Effective leaders have known for several years the value of caring about people and demonstrating this feeling through action. Empathy is helping people feel important and respected. People like to feel that their opinions are taken seriously and that they have input into matters affecting their work. People are individuals with a life that goes beyond the job and they want this fact to be acknowledged. Ironically, when people feel that their manager is not concerned about them and only care about the company and shareholder value, they may withhold their trust and the discretionary effort (effort that goes above and beyond the call of duty).

When people feel that their manager generally cares about them as individuals and shows this concern through their actions, they will go the extra mile in their work performance. This show of concern has a positive effect on their self-esteem and how they feel about their job. They may not be one of the 70% of people dread going to work each day, when they have a leader who practices empathy.

The Self-Esteem Destruction Kit is a parody. When you read it think of doing the opposite. However, there may be value in comparing your actions to those implicated in the poem.

 

Self Esteem Destruction Kit

(A parody of outlandish proportions)

Berate their achievement.

Tell them, they aren’t good enough

And don’t do what they should enough.

Don’t ever give them a compliment,

Reduce your expectations

And they’ll reach the substandard goal

You have in mind.

Ignore their vexations

And they will remind

You of their failures and invent excuses.

The verbal reprimands are good,

They do not leave marks,

And can hide internal abuses.

Tell them they won’t amount to much

Don’t spare their feelings,

As you discount their touch,

Tell them they are not appealing

And have not earned the right to one,

So, an opinion can’t be claimed.

And let them know that you’re ashamed

Of them, regardless of their marks in school

Just minimize their role, it was luck,

And their incompetence blamed

On malfunctioning genes

Inherited from remnants

Of a marginal gene pool.

Use words to provoke reactions

But judiciously use inaction,

Indifference to achieve results;

Ridicule them if needed,

Rile, defile and insult,

Distort, withhold affection;

Don’t offer favors, render rejection,

Show favoritism, be hard to please;

Make them uncomfortable, never at ease;

Be unpredictable, inconsistent,

Never give in to them

Always be resistant

To the things they say.

Ignore their voice

And always give others

Their right of way.

Shun their attention;

Avoid looking in their eyes,

Make them feel negligible

Incoherent, illegible,

And self esteem

Will take a subterranean path,

To symbolize submission.

And all but the strong

Will seek the back of the bus,

The end of the line,

And relish their position, inclined

To give those with equal footing

The advantage, always putting

Themselves last in a deprecating manner,

As they encourage others to pass.

They gravitate to second class

Status as they second guess

Their value and feel less

Worthy, when compared to peers.

They will be saddled with irrational fears

As you deny, discredit, debase;

They will systematically

Find a lower place.

Copyright © 2000 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from FREE by Orlando Ceaser © 2012

Watchwell Communications, Inc.

Personal Reflections

  1. Are you guilty of performing any of the actions in the poem?

  2. Identify the actions that apply to you and develop a plan to approach the person you have wronged.

  3. Think of situations where you were the victim of some of the egregious actions.

  4. Reflect on your behavior and discuss with peers or others, to ensure these actions will no longer apply to you.

  5. Look for situations where an individual’s self-esteem has been damaged and offer words of encouragement and correction.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

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