Tag: empathy

Tips on Recovering from Failure

When we think of leaders and successful people, we usually just picture them in their successes. Seldom do we think of their failures. Failure can cause emotional pain and embarrass us, but the silver lining of failure is that it is an opportunity to grow and enrich our lives both personally and professionally.


The first gift of failure is humility. Acknowledging a mistake and/or failure takes us to a place of vulnerability. Admitting to it is powerful and helps us to affirm that we want to do the correct thing, in the case of wrongdoing, or to do better if we fell short. Humility is also a reminder that as humans, we are social and need to rely on one another.  


Another gift of failure is compassion. Admitting to mistakes can be unbearably embarrassing, painful, even, but that embarrassment can increase our compassion for others. Research has shown that we tend to focus more on ourselves when we are successful and have achieved a higher status. The vulnerability of failure opens us up to connecting with others. Sally Blount, a contributor to Forbes, puts it best: “It turns out that engaging in the small joys and comaraderies of everyday life is one of the best ways to soothe a chastened ego.” 


One of the best ways to recover from failure is to keep an openness to learning. Many people find they learn best through experience, and that includes experiencing failure. Of course, this isn’t easy, as we tend towards safety and comfort. The combination of humility and compassion helps us learn and better connects us with others. While success may increase confidence, it is failure that builds wisdom. 

Why Leading with Empathy is Essential

Leaders come in many forms, and with various styles come characteristics unique to each one. However, if there is one essential quality all leaders should possess, it is empathy. Empathy is described as the ability to share or understand the feelings of others. Why is this quality vital for leaders to have?


Empathy is a quality that leaders should have because it enables you to put yourselves in your follower’s shoes. Whether it be at school, work, or any other activity, interpersonal relationships create the foundation for greater productivity. You cannot foster a great relationship without understanding the difficulties that others go through. Your perception may not necessarily be indicative of the underlying truth. We all have difficulties that we face each day, but leading with empathy will permit you to lead more effectively.


The effectiveness of empathetic leadership does not apply to just your team or your follower. This also applies to your clientele. You cannot expect to earn the trust of the customers, or even gain new ones at that, if you do not understand their needs. Any entrepreneur or business can sell a product to anybody. However, the success of any business is contingent upon how strong the relationship with its customers are. The greatest way to strengthen a relationship with those who do business with you is to empathize with what they are looking for, and provide them with those needs.


Empathy may also be the biggest tool any entrepreneur may have at their dispsoal. This is because this quality enables you to strengthen relationships of all kinds. Monetary tools or analytics can help you to a great degree, but you cannot put a price on understanding the needs of those you are in contact with. It costs you nothing to attempt to understand what others need. You can choose to take that initiative.


The long-term goal of every entrepreneur is to change the world in some form. Businesses that are successful effectively addresses a need for the people. Whether this need be a product or a service, the entrepreneur empathized with the people and worked to devise a means by which those needs could be addressed. This was all because they had empathy guiding all of their decisions. Let empathy guide you to success.


8 Tips to Successfully Lead in Today’s Market

8 Tips to Successfully Lead in Today’s Market

Utilizing Open-mindedness in Leadership

Intelligence is without a doubt one of the most fundamental properties that help others strive to be better while simultaneously improving the company’s overall mission through knowledge. Unfortunately, it has been a common trend for highly intelligent CEO’s to make a set of mistakes that ultimately have led to the downfall of their companies. To illustrate this point, some of the most global, well known digital tech companies have declined in both popularity and their profit margins by simply neglecting to maintain a certain type of open-mindedness that is essential for business plans.

Based on a study by Professor Finkelstein at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, the below key points are some accurate ways to ensure that your business flourishes from an open-minded perspective that could allow for an overall clearer vision. The following points touch upon how to rectify any intentional or unintentional habits leaders in upper management may be acting on, which can be detrimental to your establishment.

Room for improvement

While taking pride in your work is salient in terms of progress, be mindful that this is one quality that has the potential of spiraling out of control fairly easily. Leaders that develop a strong obsession or become particularly entranced with specific concepts that they have created, statistically show a high level of contentment, therefore not allowing them to question their current state. With this in mind, leaders often firmly believed that the success created will never decline.

Dont dwell on the past

One common trend among company leaders is that when the financial or creative situation of their brand was not performing too well, it resulted in these CEO’s or other members of higher up management to recreate old plan of actions or strategies. Although many of these strategies were not necessarily pertinent or beneficial to the business endeavors at the time, leaders were convinced they would result in success simply because it was effective in the company’s recent history.

Company first

Sometimes if the founder of a company or a CEO becomes too attached to the establishment, this tends to be counterproductive, with these leaders tending to focus in on securing the brand’s image instead of emphasizing transparency. Thus, it is actually fairly common for upper management to get caught up in their work that they often forget to envision plans in accordance with the company’s goals or missions.


Emotional Intelligence Now Considered Key Leadership Skill

Emotional intelligence is a pretty recent concept. It was coined in 1990 in a research paper by John D. Mayer of UNH and Peter Salovey of Yale. It was later defined by Mayer in the Harvard Business Review thusly:

“From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.”

Almost a decade later, Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman established the important connection between emotional intelligence and business leadership. In HBR’s 1998 article, “What Makes a Leader,” he states that the most effective leaders all have a high degree of emotional intelligence. IQ and technical skills are irrelevant when it comes to reaching an executive position.

Emotional intelligence has five major components:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy for others
  • Social skills

Each of these components allow people to recognize, learn from, and connect with other people’s mental states.

According to HBR, understanding what constitutes emotional intelligence is important not only because it is so central to leadership, but because people who are strong in some components of it may be lacking in others. One example used by Salovey during a 2010 leadership conference was Bill Clinton, who was remarkable in his empathy yet devoid of self-control.

Mayer and Salovey coined the term “emotional intelligence” the same year that the functional magnetic resonance imaging machine was invented. For the first time, people could look at what was happening in the brain while it was functioning. Golemans extensive work on the subject of emotional intelligence is infused with findings from these studies. With that research Goleman and others have been able to further establish the connection between emotional intelligence and leadership.

They’ve been able to understand what physically happens to the brain when you understand what another person is saying, for example. They’ve also found definitively that emotions like anger can lead to bad decision making and that sometimes things like flattery simply do not work. All of these modes of research lead to a simple conclusion. In order to be a better leader you need emotional intelligence of a high degree.

There are still some counterarguments though, notably a Wharton progessor named Adam Grant who has reported that there is a lack of correlation between tests results measuring emotional intelligence and business results. His methods are obviously contested by Goleman and others.