Category Archives: Good People Great

Faith in the future

94% of employees believe they cope well with change within their organisation, yet this confidence is not held by their leaders and managers, with just 79% and 75% respectively who believe their employees cope well with change.

Far from being fearful of change, employees now expect it and have generally responded positively to the notion of change in their organisations.

Leaders and managers should learn to recognise and harness this commitment to change. For organisations to prosper in the future, change is a vital ingredient that must be present and must be welcomed and nurtured.

From LMA’s L.E.AD. Survey book “Today’s workplace – Present realities…Future realities”, 2013
Available for purchase, click here to order a copy of the book.

The donkey in the well

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The farmer frantically thought what to do as the stricken animal cried out to be rescued.

With no obvious solution, the farmer regretfully concluded that as the donkey was old, and as the well needed to be filled in anyway, he should give up the idea of rescuing the beast, and simply fill in the well.

The farmer asked for his neighbours help, and before long they all began to shovel earth quickly into the well. When the donkey realised what was happening he wailed and struggled, but then, to everyone’s relief, the noise stopped.

After a while the farmer looked down into the well and was astonished by what he saw. The donkey had discovered that by shaking off the dirt instead of letting it cover him, he could keep stepping on top of the earth as the level rose. Soon the donkey was able to step up over the edge of the well, and he happily trotted off.

Life tends to shovel dirt on top of each of us from time to time. The trick is to shake it off and use it to take a step up.

Adapted from Business Balls: ethical work and life learning website

Empathy – a Key to More Successful Communication

Mastering the art of communication is a complex process demanding time and ongoing effort.  Most often, people think of communication as expressing their ideas to someone else.  This is one part of it, but not all.  Successful communication is a two-way process.  People must present their ideas in a form others can understand and they must, in turn, listen to others to understand how the message is received.

Understanding others depends upon empathy.  Empathy is the ability to view a situation from the viewpoint of others and understand their feelings and beliefs.  Empathy recognises the inherent right of each person to hold personal views about situations.  Understanding other people’s viewpoints doesn’t force you to agree with or accept that point of view.  It only means you approach situations with fairness and objectivity.

Consider these suggestions for being empathetic as you communicate your ideas:

  • Organise your ideas.  Present your ideas in an organised way.  Be sure your ideas and your thinking are crystal clear to you.  Write them down.  Organise them in light of what you know about others.  When you’re absolutely certain you’ve organised your ideas, you can be more confident they will be understood and accepted.
  • Tap into people’s interests.  Present your ideas to others in a form that highlights their benefits.  Strive to understand people’s needs and expectations and phrase your ideas in those terms to communicate effectively.
  • Paint a picture.  Some words appeal to emotions, desires and needs.  Other words appeal to reason and fact.  Words of both emotion and logic can contribute to painting pictures of ideas in people’s minds.  Recognise the wants and needs of others and express your ideas in words that form a mental picture that promises to supply those needs.
  • Vary your communication style.  Use the communication style most comfortable and familiar to your listener.  Adjust your style to enable your listener to understand and accept your message without the need to “translate” it.  Consider how they will receive it and remember they will be listening with a “what’s in it for me” self-interest.  When you’re working in a team, be aware of the communication styles of other team members that are different from yours.   See the differences as an opportunity rather than a problem.  Accept the challenge to communicate with everybody and capitalise upon the strengths of those differences.

Using empathy when you communicate is a key to better communication and improving your productivity.

LMA is now offering a suite of short courses to suit your organisation’s needs.  Our Emotional Intelligence short course within our Thrive More product range would be perfect for those looking to understand more about the power of empathy.