Better Sales Leadership Empathy and Gratitude
I discussed in a recent post that empathy and gratitude are two features that must be had by each Level 5 Sales Leadership-Gratitude and Empathy-Chris DamicoSales Leader. Then the BIG question becomes, why and how do these two attributes assist someone to become a more productive leader?
As a leader, my experience shows that there is only one way to express true empathy and that is by active listening. They feel respected when you truly focus on people, knowing and remembering what they have said.
How does empathy help sales leadership?
Lynnda Pollio, an author and Empathetic Strategist, teaches how empathy can make you a better leader by helping businesses develop stronger and more open cultures. She discovered that giving others an ear allows the person the opportunity to spill out whatever is bottled up inside him or her. Through doing so, you will develop a more intimate relationship with the other person, creating the qualities of faith and respect that any successful leader should have.
If trust and respect are the pillars of a partnership and listening to others to accomplish this is all you have to do, then why do so many leaders come up short?
When was the last time you really listened to someone regardless of time, wanted to hear what they said and were in a position where that person and nothing else was all you were concentrating on?
As the example above shows, for many reasons, we frequently do not fully participate in empathy using active listening:
- Absence of time
- Failure of interest
- Excessive distractions
Can you see why it is hard to be empathetic and a good, engaged listener?
Wait… hang on a minute….what if I agree that I need more empathy and that the way to demonstrate this is to understand active listening. Does this mean that empathy is Just a good thing? Have you got TOO much empathy?
Covisioning LLC President Marcia Reynolds has discovered that you can sense their tension, anxiety and frustration in your body with empathy. Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol are released which may make you more vulnerable to feelings of depression or hopelessness if you let these emotions stay in your body.
There is also a line between being too empathic (leading to burnout) and having true empathy that indicates that you care for others. As a Level 5 leader for both you and your people, it is up to you to balance this line.
What about gratitude?
Have you ever come across people genuinely happy? They come across as thankful|blessed|positive|optimistic|value driven no matter what life throws at them.
Only flip the script. Did you ever meet genuinely sad people? As negative|pessimistic|skeptical|unhappy|miserable, they are noticed.
Who would you rather follow?
Simple answer, huh? Positive people who are, of course, thankful!
With optimism, appreciation is connected and grateful people are happier.
Are you prepared for the good news now? You will become more thankful, no matter what side of the fence you are actually dropping on, there is hope.
The Founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, believes that optimism is a learnable ability.
It has been shown that optimism strengthens the immune system, prevents chronic diseases and helps people deal with unfortunate news. (The search for happiness-Bringing life to the science of happiness)
How do you practice gratitude?
Robert A Emmons, Ph.D., is a University of California professor of psychology, Davis, and the world’s leading gratitude scientist. He sends you 10 ways to become more grateful:
1. Keep a Journal for Appreciation
2. Bear in mind the negative
3. Ask yourself three questions (“What have I gotten from—?” “What have I given to—-?” and “What have I caused trouble and difficulty?”
4. Learn Gratitude Prayers
5. Come on to Your Senses
6. Apply Visual Reminders
7. Make a Commitment of Gratitude Practice
8. See The Language
9. Go the Motions Though
10. Think the Box Outside
It sounds obvious to be an empathetic and grateful leader, but so many of us have worked under leaders who do not exemplify these attributes of Level 5 Sales Leadership. It is also important to remember that empathy and gratitude are not just words of “feel good,” but also behavior that contribute to greater commitment and investment of employees, and ultimately business growth.