The Drum’s 3 Actionable Insights series asks top industry leaders to share their thoughts about what actions our readers should take immediately. This week we have Tiffany Pham, chief executive and founder of Mogul, a global diversity recruitment company, and star of the new Lexus campaign. She explains what it takes to be an empathetic leader during a time when this style is needed most. Here’s what she has to say...
1. Take stock of your team
Assess how they’re doing and feeling. When it comes to managing your team internally, speak one-on-one with each of your team members and find out ways in which you can further support them. This means not only speaking with them on an individual level, but also taking a look on a holistic level. You need to evaluate: how is your team doing holistically?
Then look further at the representation you’re finding within your team. There are ways in which you can actually create even more empathy among your team, and among each other, by creating a more inclusive culture, a culture of belonging and a culture of acceptance and love.
Then take the time to reassess your training programs. Think about the training, education and programming that you can introduce within your teams and what additional team members you need to bring on to your team to create that continuation of acceptance and belonging.
2. Communicate empathetically with your external customers
Are you expressing that level of empathy that you’re feeling internally now to the external world? Are you communicating with your customers in a way that will resonate with them and stick with them, whether it’s a small group or large? To do this you must express what you really care about in an authentic way. That’s what ultimately ensures that your message resonates.
Also, are you using gender neutral language in this moment of time? This is a crucial time for using language that will resonate with people of all diverse natures, of different ethnicities, race, gender, sex, sexual preferences, disability... Are you really leveraging inclusive communication methodologies to speaks to all of your customer base? That external communication is key and the intent is key.
It doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning. When you first speak about your desire to create a human internal and external brand of belonging and inclusion, showing your intent to communicate empathetically to a diverse audience is key.
3. Be empathetic with yourself
This is one of the most challenging times we’ve ever gone through and each of us as leaders is obviously going through massive personal challenges with all our families and loved ones. We’ve been under attack from multiple angles, whether that’s medically, or perhaps even physically if you’re a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander community or a member of the Black community. At this time there’s been a lot to grapple with on a personal level for all of us.
Just remember to be empathetic with yourself. Feel free to open up and express your own struggles with your loved ones, your family members, your team members and with the world. Because at this time authentic leadership that is open, frank and transparent is needed for success. These three elements will continue to push us all in the right direction as leaders and contribute to the kind of world that we want to belong to.