Want to Be a Better Leader? Increase Empathy by Practicing Gratitude

by Mar 7, 2022

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

An infant who needs attention will throw things, cry, scream, and create chaos. We see the infant as seeking care and love, not as being a troublemaker.

As adults, sadly, many often continue their infant ways, except they use more manipulative, and shrewd methods to get attention. However, if you learn to see past the sarcasm, attitude, anger, and control tactics, you’ll see another human being looking for someone to care about them.

The same holds true with megalomaniacs. You know — the type who wants the world to revolve around them.

They are the leaders who fire people for having an opinion contrary to their own, and they are the ones who promote those in the organization who regularly stroke their egos.

Here is the secret of a megalomaniac: They are insecure, unfulfilled, and living a life based on checking off the boxes to validate themselves. They are disconnected from authenticity, and too scared to be vulnerable.

Eventually, this individual, if fortunate enough, will experience a major failure that will awaken their humanity and dignity for others, opening their hearts to being real and genuine. I know this person well because I was one.

Most of us are simply trying to have a better life, we are neither megalomaniac nor victims. One thing we can be sure of is that self-awareness is a key component to become better people, and leaders.

“Becoming a better leader starts with how we lead our own lives and how we perceive reality.”

Own Your Experience

When things get difficult, for example, it’s easy to have the tendency to feel sorry for ourselves, and to feel as though we are victims.

These feelings don’t serve us, because they are designed to keep us from not only finding, but even bothering to look for what is needed for us to take responsibility to overcome our challenges.

We are responsible for what we choose to experience. We choose the feelings we experience, and we decide upon the goals we choose to achieve.

Everything that seems to happen to us is created by us, including the people we choose to surround ourselves with, which contribute or take away from our success.

“Our actions impact the kind of life we experience and the type of leader we become.”

What You Emanate Is What You Experience

When you perform a positive action, you receive a gift immediately because what you bestow onto others will be your immediate reality and what you experience.

Every action causes a reaction. Give, share, care, and you cause similar reactions in your own life — what you wish for others will channel through you.

“The practice of caring for others is the most powerful way to enhance your own life.”

Gratitude Attracts All the Goodness of Life

Gratitude can help in altering a bad mood. Just by appreciating your health, talents, children, or simply a beautiful object, you begin to want to emanate happiness and care, rather than fear.

Why is gratitude so important to your success in life, especially as a leader?

We spend hours and countless amounts of money strategizing, planning, and scheming with consultants about how to achieve success, when the most basic formula you must have as your foundation is gratitude.

How do you develop more gratitude?

By emanating it to others, you will experience it. By appreciating your spouse, children, friends, family, co-workers, employees, clients, vendors, and yourself.

“Leading with gratitude is the secret to uncovering truly lasting, fulfilling success.”

Next time an employee does their job, don’t just treat them like that’s what you pay them for; say thank you.

They don’t have to work for you, they could be somewhere else. Your appreciation of their work will increase your employees’ loyalty.

Gratitude will not only make them feel appreciated and motivated to do more for you, but it will create a positive movement everyone in the organization will operate from.

Clients don’t just do business with you because you have the right product or price point; they do business with you because they experience something they value.

“Everyone alive values gratitude.”

It is the single most unifying force in existence that attracts wealth, beauty, and all the goodness life has to offer.

As a leader, you want to be a no problem leader, you want to disrupt the status quo, you want to be organized and manage your time with precision, and you want to inspire teamwork. The unifying principle to all the others is gratitude.

“The one principle of a good leader, above all the others, that is guaranteed to enable everything to flow smoothly and shift an organization forward is gratitude”.

Gratitude Leads to Empathy

According to American psychologist Daniel Goleman, who assisted in popularizing the emotional intelligence idea, empathy is an important quality of emotional intelligence.

An emotionally intelligent leader uses empathy to understand positions, situations, and the feelings of other people. Empathy is also the key ingredient to a more modern approach to design thinking. This quality increases as you develop more self-awareness, and gratitude.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are keen on monitoring employees’ concerns, and well-being. The benefit of empathy is that when employees feel that you care about their feelings and professional challenges, they tend to respect you more and put more effort into what they do.

Gratitude and empathy go hand in hand. The more gratitude you practice the more empathy you develop. The more empathy you practice the more you learn to be grateful.

If you’ve ever been accused of not showing empathy, it might be time to do some self-reflection and see where you are lacking gratitude.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not enough to simply say “I am grateful for this, for that, or the other” the proof of increased gratitude is practiced with the empathy we show others.

“Empathy helps us care for others and gratitude creates the desire to practice empathy.”

The more you practice gratitude by showing empathy, the more authentic human being you become, and ultimately an emotionally intelligent better leader.

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