How to Make Empathy Your Business

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Make Empathy your business with Wayne Tarken and Stephen Hart. Wayne Tarken and Stephen Hart are agile practitioners, seasoned educators and experts on building agile HR organizations to transform workplaces.  They focus on the application of Agile as a means to manage complex problems that HR leaders face and gain traction in their implementation.

The following are their recommendations for succeeding as a leader in today’s world facing a pandemic.

Use Agile as a way to enhance your team’s performance:

PwC found that projects that use agile practices are 30% more successful.  

With everyone remote, break down meetings into parts:

Each meeting should be based on 15 minute sessions. 

Ask 3 questions to quickly identify and remove roadblocks.

  1. What did you say you would do yesterday?
  2. What didn’t you do today?
  3. What got in your way?

Make Empathy your Big Business:

Caring deeply for your employees is part and parcel of managing.

Start your meeting with asking “How are people feeling right now?”

Ask, “How are you coping?” “How are things at home?” “How are you able to balance your responsibilities?” “Do you have the tools that you need to succeed?”

Then get down to “business.”

Create a sense of belonging:

Bring back normalcy and connection.

Show how important people are and honor their contributions.

Order pizzas and send them to everyone’s home and have a business lunch!

Be transparent:

A CEO is not supposed to have all the answers, especially in a crisis.  Share with your people that you don’t know everything.  This transparency builds trust.

Be compassionate:

In a time of turmoil, your goal is to create a company where people are compassionate with themselves and with each other.  The more you are compassionate with your people, the more they are compassionate with you.

Be flexible around schedules.  Allow people a degree of freedom in when and how they get their work done.

Shorten your time frame:

Plan out the next 3 months, not the next 3 years.

Break objectives into bite size pieces.

Then review and plan again every three months.


Steve Hart

Steve Hart is an executive coach with The Professional Development Group, LLC, coaching inspiring leaders,  developing high-performing teams and creating great places to work. . Hart earned a MS in  organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the University of Durham in  England, LaSalle University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Learn more about him here. 

Wayne Tarken, SPHR, CSM 

With more than 20 years of experience working with business executives, Wayne Tarken is well versed  professionally and personally to help others in the implementation of agile and strategic leadership practices  that improve the performance of business strategies and operations A co-author of the book, “Black Holes and White Spaces: Reimagining the Future of Work and HR,” he has developed leading-edge  thinking about the emerging roles and capabilities of leaders. Tarken graduated from Temple University with  an MBA in management and a BA in economics. Learn more about him here.

Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:

Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager | How to Build Virtual Accountability


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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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