86% of employees said this one thing helped them navigate the demands of their work and life

If you were told about one thing that could improve the wellbeing of the majority of your people, would you implement it in your role as a leader? We’re guessing it’s a yes.

A study showed that this one thing helped 86% of people to better manage the demands of their work and wider life. Therefore, it must be revolutionary, or something that requires lots of work and investment? Here’s the big reveal…..

86% of people reported that they were able to navigate the demands of their work and life when they felt their leaders were more empathetic. That’s it. 

It’s quite the stat when you think about it. Drink it in. 

Leaders have the potential to make their peoples’ lives easier by just being empathetic. 

Leading with empathy

Every person you work with has their own unique life outside of work that you may know snippets about or you may know a lot about. There are times when it feels like life is flowing easily but there are times when it starts to fizz manically in our heads and stress sets in. The difference between feeling comfortable to share that with a leader to lighten the load or having to try and hide it is big

If people feel supported and able to ask for help, this has a huge impact on their day to day productivity, motivation and happiness at work - in a good way!

We re-shared an article about empathy and kindness earlier in the year and how empathy tops the list of what leaders must get right - it had a huge response. It’s no surprise that the articles and posts on LinkedIn which are more personal in nature garner tons of likes, shares and engagement. Of course, LinkedIn’s purpose is a business networking platform but doesn’t it speak volumes that the biggest engagement on there comes from when the people behind their job title and work attire share some of themselves and their stories? It’s because these posts show the human side of people and we can all relate to it.

Our working life can feel like we are sometimes pretending not to be human. We’re just a Head of Digital or a Director of Finance, and some workplaces can make us feel like we need to tone our emotions right down and the personality that we carry with us (what makes us who we are, essentially!) 

Births, fostering, promotions, deaths, diagnosis, financial issues, caring responsibilities, moving house, loss and hundreds more of these events happen to people every day. Employees can try and close the door on these when at work but they’re still there banging on the door needing attention.

What great leaders do

For a leader to actively check in with their people, asking if they’re ok and what help and support they might need is something that no business perk will replace. It’s as easy as that. 

Mental health first aiders and ensuring that employees feel safe to share any issues with their leaders are extremely beneficial to workplaces. But as a very first starting point, just making sure that empathy is displayed and is genuine is going to go a long way.

Here are five ways you can demonstrate empathy in your role as a leader:

1) Call someone every week just to see how they are doing and what they have going on

2) Always leave space at the beginning of every meeting to enquire how people are doing

3) When asking someone ‘how are you?’, dig deeper when presented with an ‘I’m fine’ response

4) Share when you’re feeling vulnerable to create psychological safety for others to do the same

5) You don’t need to solve everything, ask a great coaching question instead to help people explore something they’re feeling or struggling with.

Start with empathy and see the difference it will make, because in the words of Maya Angelou ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’


Leader reading an ideas book

10 top tips to make your hybrid meetings ROCK

We've moved into a hybrid world but it seems everywhere we go people are in constant meetings.  

On average, UK working adults are attending 13% MORE meetings since the pandemic started. 60% are multitasking in those meetings if they're dialling in virtually, driving huge inefficiencies of both time, creativity and productivity. And, as a result, we're working an extra half a working day a week, on average (meaning many of us are doing far more).

There's got to be another way, right?!

We’ve been supporting leaders and teams on leading in a hybrid world throughout this year and have had a front row seat to the inspired thinking, hybrid team hacks and top tips that really make hybrid meetings work. We'll share some with you here.

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Four things brilliant leaders do to maximise employee happiness

Last week was International Happiness at Work week and social media feeds were bursting with good news stories, hashtags galore and plenty of companies letting others know what they’re doing right. 

We’re always up for celebrating the good stuff but as we glide into another week (with a new ‘day of / week of’ hashtag having its moment in the sun) what happens to happiness at work when the spotlight moves off it?

 

What’s happiness got to do with leadership?

If you’re working, you’re either leading, being led or often with a foot in both camps. So we’re asking how happy do you feel in your leadership role? How happy do you think the other leaders around you feel?

We come across so many leaders who might look happy on the outside but inside they’re really struggling with imposter syndrome, insecurity and unhappiness in their leadership role. But if no one’s told you about creating happiness for yourself as a leader, let alone others, well where do you start? 

When we talk about leaders feeling happy we don’t mean a permanent nirvana-like bliss. We mean leaders who feel comfortable in their own skin, confident in who they are and capable in their leadership role. It’s only when this happens that leaders are able to create the conditions for their people to feel the same way. This is what Lead Happy™ is all about. 

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happy leader

The 6 step Lead Happy™ formula

Watch our short video on the 6 steps that help leaders to lead confidently and happy, or if you prefer reading, the transcript is below.

 

Number 1
Smashing apart the leadership myth: Helping people to think about leadership in a completely new way

 

Number 2
Who you are:
Who you are and how that determines the way you lead

 

Number 3
Who are they: Understanding our fellow humans

 

Number 4
Humanship: Focusing on our inner similarities as humans over our outer differences like role, identity or title

 

Number 5
Connection: The art of connection We are all born wired for connection and it’s an essential part of brilliant leadership

 

Number 6
Jestology: Bringing story-sharing, facilitation and fun to how you lead

 

Head over to our YouTube channel for more lead happy content, where you can leave a comment and subscribe too.


Lit up question mark. Open-ended questions in leadership

This one question will change how you lead and live

Hands up, how many times when someone is talking to you are you waiting for them to finish so that you can immediately respond? Welcome to the way most conversations work...

Sometimes it’s just hard not to jump in on the last bit of what someone is saying as we are so keen to talk next - it feels like being in a queue and craning your neck to see when it’s your turn.

Added to this is small talk. These well-intended but often dull daily interactions, usually just lead us into an awkward dead-end. We ask the same questions, offer the same tried and tested ‘safe’ responses and feel like we are having the same conversation on repeat (we usually are!). 

Whether it’s a lack of listening, too many opinions, or the same questions on autopilot, it’s easy to see why so many of our conversations end up feeling transactional or like we can’t shift it into another gear.

It doesn’t have to be this way!Read more


laughing in leadership

Eight ways to be a brilliant leader in a hybrid working world

Whether we lead an organisation, a team, a project or a specific activity, the pandemic has thrown us a fair few curveballs during the last 18 months. We’ve relocated (overnight), juggled more balls than ever, Zoom Zoom Zoomed (!) and adapted and pivoted.

As more and more teams head back into the office and enter into a hybrid working world, how do leaders get their heads straight about what happens next? 

With so many of our ways to communicate, connect and collaborate seemingly turned upside down during the pandemic and many questions around what exactly should happen now, there’s still a lot of talk about the need for a total re-think on how we lead as the world of hybrid takes hold.

However, when we look at the leaders (in all walks of life) who have done a brilliant job throughout the last 18 months, they haven’t actually changed their leadership approach at all, regardless of where they have been working from. Granted, their leadership might have been delivered slightly differently but it’s remained entirely focused on the age-old principles of leading others that are also bang up to date and that we can’t see changing anytime soon.

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laughing group

Video: JestologyTM

Watch our short video on Jestology, or if you prefer reading, the transcript is below.

Jestology™ is our philosophy that underpins everything we do. The role of fun, laughter, storytelling and entertainment in leadership is absolutely critical.

Leaders who laugh and have fun and who help others to laugh and enjoy themselves are always loved. In our experience where there’s little laughter, there’s little success too. Here at Team Jester, we don’t take life too seriously. What we do is serious business but we always have a good time along the way.Read more


Make your team feel incredible

How to make your team feel incredible with just three things

There’s loads of stuff out there on what makes a brilliant team (big yawn...). When we get rid of all of that noise - it’s simple. A team that feels good, does good. How your team feels all round, well, it’s a lot to do with how you make them feel.

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10 reasons why you can’t fake it until you make it in leadership

9 reasons why you can’t fake it until you make it in leadership

Years ago, I was a new Head of department for a global company. I had my first big meeting with the exec team. I wheeled out a fancy presentation, it had all of the bells and whistles, the data was immaculate - but it fell completely flat and it’s fair to say that I spectacularly screwed the whole thing up.

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