Empathy in the top 5 responses
Empathy sits firmly in the top five in terms of responses. Interestingly, it beats practices that you might expect people to nominate. Including challenging, charismatic and confidence. In addition, dependable, dynamic, and persistent. Not to mention, progressive, to name just a handful.
Furthermore, you can be assured that regardless of your belief, purpose, passion, and energy. All of this is undermined without empathy for your players or team members.
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What does empathy mean to you?
In the interview, Paula gives us the opportunity to reflect on empathy. Particularly, what does it mean to you?
Natalie says, ‘It’s more than just being able to walk in someone else’s shoes. Empathy means being able to walk alongside someone. Especially, to see them, the whole of them. And then you can ask a really powerful question. Importantly, that shows that you have listened and you care.
As a practice it’s worth reflecting on how we bring empathy to our coaching relationships.
This is particularly important, also from a leadership perspective.
Empathy and the link to leadership
Empathy has been described by authors as a fundamental characteristic of both transformational leadership and emotional intelligent leaders.
Furthermore, the Centre for Creative Leadership at the Corporate Leadership Council analysed data from over 6,000 managers in 38 countries [Reference 1]. This research found that empathy, when displayed by the leaders of organisations towards their subordinates, is positively related to job performance and positive organisational cultures.
The message here is clear. Particularly, when we display empathy as a coach and a leader, this is positively related to the performance of our team members.
Coaching questions to get more in touch with our empathy?
We then received a question around ‘how do you get a manager, who has “no empathy”, to start displaying some empathy?’ Well we know we can’t ‘make them’. Therefore, we offer the following coaching questions in get in touch. If you are thinking about the team member or your player if you are in a sporting context, consider:
- What are they thinking?
- Where is their motivation coming from?
- Alternatively, what perspective are they coming from?
- Furthermore, what is their map of the world?
- In addition, what is important to them? And why is this important?
Who mentioned empathy when they were asked ‘what makes a great coach?’
Empathy was mentioned many coaches and players. Including, by former ATP No. 1 and legendary sports commentator Jim Courier. Along with customer experience coach Simon Blair. Furthermore, former WTA World No.4 tennis player Helena Suková. In addition, entrepreneur, author and speaker Manu ‘Swish’ Goswami. Also, founder of Women’s Tennis Coaching Association (WTCA) and tennis tour coach Sarah Stone. And Australian Rules Football coach David Wheadon. That’s just to name a few!
At the back of the Book you can see all the coaches and players listed in the book and their responses
What Makes a Great Coach? gives us the opportunity to reflect on our own coaching practices. In particular, we share the research and stories around empathy from the book. And most importantly key questions that we can all use to reflect on how we bring empathy to our coaching and our work.
Enjoy your coaching.
 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-performance Workforce – A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies. www.corporateleadershipcouncil.com
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