How to Demonstrate Empathy

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Cindy Zhou shares how to demonstrate empathy. Cindy is the Chief Marketing Officer at LogRhythm, is based in Boulder, Colorado, and leads a team around the globe. She led teams as an executive at IBM and has worked with startups. Cindy talks about utilizing the principles of Agile by having a daily standup and doing a lot of skip-level one-on-ones. Through Cindy’s interview, you’ll find how to be a more connected, trusting, and vulnerable leader as you lead your “team from anywhere.”


How to Demonstrate Empathy

“Just taking a moment to ask people how they are doing is more important than ever”

With an empathy-first leadership philosophy, leaders take time to understand what their team is going through and try to alleviate fear as much as they can. 

Characteristics of Empathy 

  • Be Genuine, 
  • Care about your team, 
  • Great desire to make your team proud 
  • Want what’s best for the team. 

Think about how you can be a better leader for your team so that your team sees career progression and a solid future at your organization by offering possible routes for the future, and possible learning opportunities.

The Great Responsibility of a C-Suite Leader

“Our company is no company without our people in it.”

  • Remember that moving up to the C-Suite isn’t just a sign of career progression, it’s a responsibility you carry with people’s livelihoods on your shoulders.  Every leader should never take that for granted. 

Agile Marketing

CMO Tips:

  • Employ agile marketing methodology in the organization. 
  • Daily standup with Team (what did you do yesterday, what are you focused on, roadblocks)
  • People can’t get better if you don’t give feedback. On the flip side of that is how do you receive feedback (radical candor)?

How to Demonstrate Empathy in One-On-One/Daily Standup Meetings

  • Open up your one on ones with how that person on your team is doing physically and mentally. How’s your family? How are your loved ones?
  • Focus on building trust through transparency and vulnerability in your communication.
  • Be open about personal challenges, your own personal life situations, and life stories.
  • Helps you be visible and have a strong leadership presence. 
  • A consistent thread of communication on a daily basis

Organizational Culture:

  • Book Clubs
  • Learning opportunities for future leaders. 
  • Giving back to the community – employees do charitable volunteer work, donating to charity, 
    • Bike builds for under-privileged kids

How to Demonstrate Empathy in Meetings with A New Team as a New Leader

  • Speak with every single person one on one 
    • What’s working? 
    • What’s not working? 
    • Career aspirations? 
    • What will you (as the leader) promise?
      • Transparency?
      • Trustworthiness?
      • Openness?
      • To share your thinking behind every decision that you make even if someone doesn’t agree?
      • To consider every team member and the team as a whole when making decisions?
    • Benefits of this conversation as a new leader: 
      • The team is comfortable and confident in what they are doing 
      • They feel that their work matters 
      • Takes time, yes, but pays off in dividends over time. Prioritize one-on-one meetings over other kinds of meetings because your team is your first priority. 


Radical Candor

Agile Marketing

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This episode is brought to you by Marymount University, School of Business and Technology: innovative solutions up-skilling for the what’s next economy. Oyster Organizational Development dedicated to higher performance, business success, and leveraging team. And Wejungo designing customized talent acquisition solutions.


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