CEO

How to be an empathetic founder when your empathy radar is off!

The startup mentality and focus does not always have the time, patience or clarity to empathise in a way that supports the wellbeing, and emotional evolution of the workforce. The contradiction of moving fast, scaling up whilst being focused on how the team is “feeling is not always easy to achieve or a lens that […]

How to be an empathetic founder when your empathy radar is off!
How to be an empathetic founder when your empathy radar is off!
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I'm Mandy!

A Startup and Leadership Consultant helping small businesses scale using BIG corporate strategies. I am committed to creating well balanced workplaces.

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The startup mentality and focus does not always have the time, patience or clarity to empathise in a way that supports the wellbeing, and emotional evolution of the workforce. The contradiction of moving fast, scaling up whilst being focused on how the team is “feeling is not always easy to achieve or a lens that seem valuable.

However, the high pressured, fast paced environment can leave your people drained, overworked, unproductive and lacking the clarity of values and purpose that will keep them around for the long haul. The founder who is able to adapt and co-create a culture of empathy and fierce innovation; in their actions, thinking and people management will move fast and bring on the journey a successful and well looked after team.

The benefits are many.

At this embryonic stage of your business, what you build now will be the foundations of your success for many years to come. Create the culture and team engagement now, rather than later.

  1. Work with your team to set the foundational values and behaviours based on how you want to treat each other.
  2. Create a clear method of upward and downward communication. This will ensure that as you grow your team you continue to row in the same direction.
  3. Your customers will feel the benefit of your developed well rounded culture with every interaction building revenue and customer retention.

As quoted on www.businesssolver.com

83% of Gen Z employees would choose an employer with a strong culture of empathy over an employer offering a slightly higher salary, versus 75% of employees on average.

Why is it so hard…?

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A founder is used to being outcome focused, used to taking the lead and finding solutions. When supporting a peer or team member you are presented with a conundrum! You want to solve the problem but all the individual wants is for you to understand, acknowledge and support…Not always give them the solution!

Learning to get consensus by being empathetic and getting leaders onto the same page is an art, and a skill that can and needs to be developed. Developing your Emotional Empathy (being able to feel the pain of others) exposes you to feeling the hurt of the other person. Not always easy if you are in a “self protection” mode, but this depth of understanding will facilitate a deep relationship with your team. Time to be vulnerable and self aware.

What to say, in the moment!

How do you manage these conversations and relationships in the moment? When you have a meeting packed diary and stress inducing call with the board how you respond to the latest crisis is what will differentiate you as an empathetic leader. When presented with trauma, personal stories or over sharing from your team they will look to you to build a culture that supports others and at the same time promotes a way of working that increases team alignment, collaboration and caring about the BIG picture. Here is what to say when you next need to flex your empathetic muscle and you can’t find the words!

“I’m sorry you are going through this.”

“I hate that this happened.”

“That must be hard.”

“That is a challenging situation”

“How does that make you feel?”

Just remember it is not about doing it wrong, it is about not doing it all. Take the leap into the emotions of yourself and others. Listen more to improve trust and collaboration as well as cultural understanding and allyship!! Want to know how to implement these strategies in your leaders, then work with me and take the 360 emotional testing that I use with my corporate clients or embark on leadership coaching as you continue to build your organisation.

Mandy Tucker is a corporate leader and qualified executive coach helping founders and CEOs to lead from the front, build their teams and irresistible cultures. Using her proprietary PACE framework she helps “Start Up” companies who are ready to scale. She will arm you with the best leadership coaching, techniques and frameworks to educate your teams on how to work together and build a culture they do not want to leave. Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology and Psychological Safety practices are the bedrock of Wellbeing and organisational success in the new Start Up era. 

Email: Mandy Tucker Consulting: info@startupculturecode.com  for keynotes, workshops and Leadership Coaching.

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