On CBS Sunday Morning, I heard Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella say, “empathy & compassion are business essentials.” Essentials. When you consider the 4 domains of Emotional Intelligence—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management—you can understand how empathy and compassion are essential. They are skills and behaviors that you can develop and each team member can develop.
Why is it important? Our brains are wired to connect and according to Matthew D. Lieberman, director of UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience lab, connection “is actually profoundly important to our survival.” No we’re not in the wilds, so not that kind of survival. But imagine your team‘s critical project. Is it going well? If not, it is perhaps a lack of connection. Or as a study by Google discovered, a major cause for project failure is lack of “alignment”. No surprise considering Lieberman’s research.
So how are you at connecting? Do you get the response you expect from your interactions with others? How can you learn if you are showing up in an authentic way when you are trying to show empathy and compassion? First you must be in alignment with your three centers of intelligence-the head, heart and gut. Limbic Resonance. Wikipedia defines “Limbic resonance is the idea that the capacity for sharing deep emotional states arises from the limbic system of the brain. These states include the dopamine circuit-promoted feelings of empathic harmony, and the norepinephrine circuit-originated emotional states of fear, anxiety and anger.” And your team members can feel if you are not in alignment, in-authentic—it’s essential.
If you and your team and leaders are ready to raise your awareness of your levels of empathy and compassion that contribute to alignment, let the horses teach you at The Horse Course. You will receive immediate, precise, honest feedback about how you come across to others and to them.