Take two deep breathes, in and out, with a three second pause in between. Close your eyes and imagine you wake up in the morning fully engaged, you feel "on" like nothing in your day is going to deter you from unleashing your full potential. You're actually excited to get in front of your laptop, to walk into your meeting, or handle any situation that would have previously given you anxiety. Any pressure of "not being enough" in the workplace is gone. Your boss has your back, they believe in you, they help you realize what you uniquely bring to the table. You aren't operating out of fear but rather out of joy and adrenaline knowing that someone sees the greatness in you that at times you doubted existed.
This sounds like some primer for a Tony Robins course, but it's not. The gateway to this transformational power can be leveraged by each of us to be better leaders (regardless of titles) for ourselves and for each other. It starts with something so small yet so complex. Something that is mistakenly disregarded in power and influence that is rarely gets the credit it deserves.... Empathy.
The Development Dimensions International articulates that:
"Leaders who master listening and responding with empathy will perform more than 40 percent higher in overall performance, coaching, engaging others, planning and organizing, and decision making, according to the research. The unprecedented report is based on the analysis of real behaviors in assessment center simulations from over 15,000 leaders across 300 companies in 18 countries over a decade."
This research done by the DDI highlights the importance of this resource, but it's becoming more and more scarce:
"A study released by the University of Michigan reported that college students are 40 percent less likely to have empathy compared to 20 to 30 years ago."
At the beginning of the exercise I described a scenario in which you feel full empowerment from your boss is something that I've experienced firsthand from my dear friend, mentor and previous boss, Tia Kruzek, Customer Engagement Advisor at Google. Tia describes her journey of leading with her values and cultivating a deeper sense of empathy for others. She provides thoughtful and pointed insights on how others can do the same, and I know you'll hear her power in her commitment and dedication to others.