Empathy’s Role in High-Performance Teams

Blog Post Transformational Leadership

Powerfully effective leaders have learned to employ empathic cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to create high-performance teams. Empathic cognitive behavioral therapy involves connecting with others using empathy and an intentionality to correct distorted ways of thinking. Listening and connecting with others using empathy attracts people because it involves open, genuine, authentic communication, which is simply irresistible to many of us and makes us much more willing to do whatever is asked.

Unlearn what we think we already know

Adding the use of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to communication allows us to access the thinking part of our otherwise emotional brain to ascertain the facts about situations and people accurately and thoughtfully. Using this approach facilitates a necessary unlearning of the biased ways we all perceive ourselves and others. All of us walk around convinced we “know” what’s going on with ourselves or others at work, when in fact these biased recollections are simply storied ways we’ve learned to make sense of our environment and are likely not producing the results we desperately need to be effective leaders.

Create an environment of trust that invites creativity

Intentionally connecting using empathic cognitive behavioral therapy approaches allows leaders to tease out potential and possibility in team members. Given the tremendous pressure executives are under to produce dynamic business results, focusing on this approach to interacting with team members can be a powerful game changer because simple moments and acts of kindness can really change an environment. When people are happy, it changes their brain chemistry and helps create an environment of trust where they are freer to say what they think and are far more creative. And this is a winning combination that elicits an engaged workplace focused on delivering high-performance results as inspired by a most effective leader.

The ideas in this blog were inspired and informed by a recent radio show interview the author had with Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli, author of The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience.