Empathy and the emotional
labor tax on today’s leaders

Have you heard the news?

Empathy is the # 1 leadership skill. And according to a recent poll we ran (100+ votes), over 80% reported that people at work are more open about personal issues than they were pre-pandemic.

Despite several months of acclimating to a new reality and the societal upheaval spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans are still struggling to cope with the disruptions it has caused.

Let’s recap:

Empathy is now the most important leadership skill.

Many people are wearing their personal issues on their sleeve.

More than half of your employees are more stressed out than they’ve ever been.

There aren’t enough therapists out there, even if everybody wanted to see one.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a heavy emotional toll– just ask your local coffee barista. Or any employee from your CX department. Or your nurse practitioner. They, more than anyone, will be able to tell you how the pandemic has thrust every emotion to the forefront.

In the absence of the slow drip of social healing we used to get daily, everyone’s stress is primarily being funneled to service and healthcare workers.

Oh, and all of your colleagues.

For better or worse, we’re entering a world of work where “leave home at home” is no longer a practical– or ethical– request. Everyone’s definition of “TMI” (too much information) is now up for interpretation.

Unless you’re superhuman, it’s unlikely that you have secret reserves of emotional labor to draw from during this uniquely draining time.

So what can we do?

Is it even possible to maintain a consistent amount of empathy for the volume of people we, as leaders, interact with on a daily basis?

Of course a lot of people are making a lot of money promising “silver bullet” solutions to these issues.

At BOxD, we can’t promise a silver bullet … because it doesn’t exist.

What we CAN promise is that our coaches can help you operationalize the hard stuff, like:

Talking to your employees or coworkers on a meaningful, regular basis.

Budgeting time to take care of yourself.

Holding space for other feelings while drawing the right boundaries for yourself.

Keeping people accountable, with compassion.

Yes, there are basic organizational behavior tenets that we can draw from to offer generic off-the-shelf solutions. But everyone is different, so personal growth takes time (and often a skilled, neutral outsider) to unpack the secret sauce for every individual.

It’s why people can’t just read a self-help book and “fix” their mental health issues.

Everyone’s family background is different. Everyone’s values are different. Everyone’s culture is their own.

At BOxD, we have a bench of coaches with diverse skill sets, personalities and industry experiences because we know that finding the right coaching fit is more than half the battle.

As a manager operating in today’s environment, you need all the support you can get. By partnering with a company like BOxD, you’ll work with a leadership coach or mentor who will help you set yourself up for success. We’re here to help you learn new ways to manage time more effectively, identify and fill capability gaps on your team, and become a force multiplier for success in your organization.

Still feeling stuck? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our team experts today.

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