Google spent years and untold millions in their attempt to better understand what makes some groups perform better than others.
It turns out that leaders who encourage “empathy” among team members provide at least some of the ingredients of the “secret sauce’ (Duhigg, 2016) that makes work groups effective. But how does a leader enable or encourage empathy as a key behavioral norm within the organization? What practices should the leader encourage?
In an article by Adam Bryant (2016), the author quotes Kamahshi Sivarakrishnan who left Google to found Drawbridge, Inc. a cross device advertising platform start-up, describes what its like for a leader to offer empathy. She says:
“A sense of empathy is extremely crucial to being a good leader. And it comes much more naturally if you’ve walked in their path. The best way to inspire respect in people is when you can do what they’ve done or you’re in the trenches with them” (Bryant, Business-2)
Bryant, Adam (Feb 28, 2016). “Finding direction off the beaten path.” New York Times, Business-2.
Duhigg, Charles (Feb, 28, 2016).”Group Study”. New York Times Magazine, p.20-75.