When thinking about leadership traits – things like critical thinking and decision-making tend to come up. However, the most important but underrated leadership trait is actually empathy. Leaders who demonstrate empathy tend to have more influence with their team members and can garner better buy-in, which leads to a more cohesive organization thereby avoiding conflicts and issues that arise that require astute problem-solving.
Unpacking the concept of Empathetic Leadership is Katharine Manning. She has worked for 15 years with the Department of Justice as a Senior Attorney Advisor guiding response to victims in cases involving terrorism, sexual assault, child exploitation, and large-scale fraud crimes, among others. She is currently the President of Blackbird LLC which provides training and consulting on topics like trauma and victimization.
The topics she discussed in this webinar include:
- A 1985 incident which led to the recognition of the value of leadership in unit cohesion and mission readiness.
- How tragedies that have transpired since emphasized the importance of relationships and empathy in helping people move through challenges.
- Facts and figures that illustrate how the state of society is adversely impacting people’s work performance and satisfaction, mental health, and overall wellness.
- The importance of empathy as a life skill, specifically for leadership and in the public safety and criminal justice arena.
- How empathy in leaders impacts the output, creativity, engagement, and loyalty of employees.
- What empathetic leadership is, traits associated with empathetic leaders, and how it focuses on relationships instead of job titles.
- The concept of institutional betrayal and psychological safety – what these are and what these look like.
- The role of empathetic leadership in preventing institutional betrayal and increasing psychological safety in the workplace.
- The steps to becoming an empathetic leader through:
- Acknowledgment which involves listening and acknowledging, checking in, expressing gratitude, and willingness to have difficult conversations.
- Showing support by advocating and implementing policies that are supportive of people, being transparent, and recognizing burnout.
- Fostering trust by being clear, consistent and flexible, having the willingness to learn, and modeling traits and actions we want to see in others.
Points raised during the Q&A are on:
- Social media’s negative and positive effects on mental health.
- Fostering empathy and connectedness for introverts.
- How institutional betrayal can persist in an organization and rectifying its effects.
- Information about sexual assault cases in the military.
- How too much empathy can create lack of accountability.
- Getting leaders to appreciate the value of psychological safety.
Other Webinars with this Presenter
- March 22: Trauma Mitigation for Police and the Policed
- Jan 26, 2023: Empathetic Leadership: Building a Culture of Trust (this webinar)
- May 23: Trauma-Informed Leadership: Lessons for Criminal Justice Professionals
- Oct 10: Burnout and Resilience
Or click here to view and register for other upcoming Leadership webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.
Resources and Handouts
- Article: We Need Trauma-Informed Leadership in the Workplace. Here’s How
- Article: In Times of Crisis, Managers Must Develop a New Skill: Grief Leadership
- Article: How to Discuss the Elephant in the Room
- Book Referenced: The Empathetic Workplace
- Website Referenced: US DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Efforts
- “The most valuable thing that I learned/noticed are the percentages that pertain to “unhappiness” amongst our colleagues and our subordinates. It’s definitely eye-opening. This webinar is a blessing in disguise, as it can help address those reasons (of unhappiness) in a subtle, yet effective way. I’m looking forward to taking more classes/webinars pertaining to these types of topics. Thank you for your time.” — Jovan
- “The statistics and the importance of empathy as a leadership quality. I also enjoyed the Q&A about holding people accountable while practicing empathy.” — Jessica
- “Lots of interesting concepts, but I appreciated having some feelings I’ve had about managers explained by her. Like listening, and what people need to hear in the moment, rather than going into problem-solving mode immediately. It really is about humanizing, and providing attention to actual human beings.” — Kim
- “I thought the subject on Institutional Betrayal was very valuable. — Leeana
- “I really appreciated the instructor’s involvement of the audience and seeing what so many various individuals from different branches of law enforcement had to say.” — Catherine
- “Great Webinar. I had just been asked to research “Trauma-Informed Policing” toward the development of a new policy. Lot’s of info on Trauma Informed Care since the 70s; however, creating a policy with actionable procedures would be a great topic to have in the near future..”. — Andy
- “The speaker was very knowledgeable, kind, and engaging, as was the host. She reminded me that practicing empathy is not easy, and it can also cause fatigue. We must also take care of ourselves and be mindful.”– Akisha
- “Gentle encouragement to treat your staff, team, volunteers, support people as humans, and use empathy in all interactions. Great training!” — Megan
- “Down to earth, good ways to ‘frame’ these things. I have some influencing upward to do.” — Ron
- “I felt validated that I am supporting my staff in a very empathetic and vulnerable way while holding them accountable for the mission-critical work we do with post-adjudicated youth. Self-care continues to be an area that I need to improve on so that I am modeling its importance.” — Lanora
- “The here-and-now of this topic was spot on. It was surprising and yet not, how many people are feeling the same way. The point about problem solvers becoming leaders and then their lack of empathetic leadership was so interesting. People don’t need you to fix them–sometimes they just want to be seen and heard as individuals. My husband is a leader in IT, and I relayed so many quotes to him from your presentation. Thank you for a great webinar!” — Sara
- “I FELT SHE GAVE WONDERFUL INFORMATION INCLUDING DATA TO BACK UP THE INFORMATION AND GAVE IT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT WAS EASY TO UNDERSTAND.” — MEGAN
- “I’m new to leadership, so this whole webinar was very helpful and impactful for how I will form healthy leadership habits.” — Kiya
- “While I am not in a management role but have tried many times and was never given an opportunity, watching these webinars gives me even more tools to help me be a better worker in general and to help others. These webinars prove that management can and should be able to evolve and implement these things during their interactions with their employees. It also provided me a reference with even more information to give to employers to help them be better by making workers happier.” — Desiree
- “It increased my knowledge of the topic. The presenter was so articulate and caring in her voice. She smiled and it was genuine. I’m excited to share this information with my boss. Just signed up for the Thursday texts! Thank you!” — Barb
NACP and D-SAACP Advocates can earn 1 CEU by attending this webinar through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP). Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing. To learn more about NOVA, visit trynova.org.