Interesting story I can relate to in Harvard Business Review. And I encourage you to read it. There is this media exec and he is so focused on results that short term financials go up but people - even his family - get fed up with him. On thelong term results melt away. He lacks empathy, the ability to read and understand other’s emotions, needs, and thoughts. I am trying to get better at empathy, kicking the habit of a laser-like focus on results.
Here are four things to get better at empathy:
1. Observe, listen, and ask questions. Pay attention to people’s body language rather than obsessing about what you’re going to say next. This can be harder than it sounds, because you have to let go of the notion that you know what’s best or have the right answer.
2. Stop assuming that you know what people were thinking and feeling—you probably don’t. And even if you are right, or partly right, there’s always more to learn if you’re quiet and curious.
3. Avoid distractions and try to be more fully present when you are with people
. I personnaly have a hard time with this one. My mind is racing. I do Zen meditation training here
to get my focus on what is in front of me.
4. Stop multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is really doing more than one thing with less than your whole brain. That might be fine when you are walking and chewing gum, but it’s not ok when it comes to complex cognitive tasks or dealing with people. If you are writing an email to one person while talking with another, neither one is getting the best of you. And at least one of them knows it.
People want to feel loved and appreciated at work – and if you’re not giving them that, you’re not succeeding as a leader (this is also a note to myself).
If you want to understand more about the power of focus on people and things, I highly recommend The Organized Mind
which I just read. I am half way Deep Work
which is also great and more accessible.
You can also read the next article which shows data that people are more productive and enjoy life more during a digital detox.