Empatía y Liderazgo

Toda empresa necesita del compromiso y determinación de su mayor patrimonio, las personas. En ese compromiso, las emociones juegan un papel irrenunciable, pues forman parte de nuestra naturaleza vital y son algo que debemos proteger, pues su ausencia nos llevaría a destruir lo que es imprescindible en toda labor en equipo, el sentido de pertenencia al mismo y el deseo de contribuir en su crecimiento colectivo.

Despreciar los vínculos emocionales para centrarnos únicamente en los resultados, nos dirige a un escenario en el que las personas actuarán de forma mecánica, irreflexiva y egoista. Con ello contribuiremos a perder algo fundamental en el liderazgo de equipos; la motivación y la empatía…

La empatía es un punto de unión emocional, es uno de los pilares donde se sustenta el respeto y la confianza, el deseo honesto de ayudar a otros en beneficio común, es nuestra capacidad de dejarnos afectar por una situación que nos resulta ajena y de permitir que esa afectación condicione positivamente nuestra postura ante la del resto de personas con las que compartimos el camino y los objetivos.

La empatía es sentir y emocionarse ante el sentimiento y la emoción de otros. Es el querer entender el porqué de las cosas, es el desear ayudar para reparar, es dejarse llevar para comprender, ya que es lo contrario al prejuicio, lo opuesto al desprecio, la antítesis del odio… La empatía no rima con fascismo, ni con racismo, ni con nacionalismo…, es nuestra vacuna natural contra la intolerancia, el rechazo, el cinismo…

La empatía no tiene nada que ver con la imposición de reglas, sino con la del diálogo para el acuerdo. Ni con el romper con lo establecido, sino con llegar al entendimiento que nos ayude a valorar, amar, compartir, reforzar lazos y mantenernos juntos en el camino. La empatía nos ayuda a relacionarnos con nuestro entorno, a interpretar correctamente su realidad, a moldear nuestra actitud; nos enseña a convivir ante las dificultades.

La empatía no va de la imposición de castigos, sino de aplicar remedios, de encontrar soluciones y de llegar a consensos… La empatía es parte de la energía que necesitamos para llegar a ese punto en el espacio y en el tiempo donde se encuentra el verdadero sentido de nuestras vidas y de nuestra trayectoria en ella, donde está descrita nuestra misión como personas, donde reside el éxito de nuestra misión colectiva. De la misma manera que en la vida, la verdadera misión no es en realidad la que se dicta en un libro de normas, ni es la que cubre la sombra de una gran bandera, ni tan siquiera la que dicta un gran pensador, ni la que defiende a ultranza un gran patriota dispuesto a inmolarse por ella.

El sentido de lo que hacemos, nuestras razones, nuestra pasión por llevar nuestros deseos a hacerlos realidad, no son justificación para anteponerlos al sentido, razón y pasión de quien comparte con nosotros el camino. ¿De qué sirve mi razón si esa razón no le sirve a los demás?. ¿De qué sirve la imposición si no aporta valor al proyecto común?, ¿qué sentido tiene?.

Todos tenemos una misión, un proyecto en la vida que suele costar interpretar, pero que en realidad debería tener un solo sentido…, el de aportar valor para ayudar a los demás a conseguir superar el suyo y avanzar juntos hacia la consecución de un objetivo colectivo: “mejorar y crecer”.

Miguel Ángel Beltrán

 

Empathy & Team Leadership

Every company needs the commitment and determination of its greatest patrimony: the people… In this commitment, emotions play an indispensable role, because they are part of our vital nature and are something that we must protect, because their absence would lead us to destroy what is essential in all teamwork, the sense of belonging to it and the desire to contribute to their collective growth.

To despise the emotional links to focus solely on the results, leads us to a scenario in which people will act in a mechanical, thoughtless and selfish way. This will help to lose something fundamental in team leadership: motivation and empathy…

Empathy is a point of emotional union, it is one of the pillars where respect and trust are supported, the honest desire to help others in common benefit. It is our ability to let ourselves be affected by a situation that is alien to us and to allow that affectation to positively condition our position with that of the other people with whom we share the path and the objectives

Empathy is feeling and getting excited about the feelings and emotion of others. It is to want to understand the reason of the things, it is to want to help to repair, it is to let carry to understand, because it is the opposite to the prejudice, the opposite to contempt, the antithesis of the hatred… Empathy does not rhyme with fascism, or racism, or nationalism…, is our natural vaccine against intolerance, rejection, cynicism…

Empathy has nothing to do with the imposition of rules, but with that of dialogue for the agreement. Nor with the breaking of the established, but with reaching the understanding that helps us to value, love, share, reinforce ties and keep together along the way. Empathy helps us to relate to our surroundings, to interpret their reality correctly, to shape our attitude; it teaches us to fight together agains difficulties.

Empathy is not about imposing punishments, but of applying remedies, finding solutions and reaching consensus… Empathy is part of the energy we need to reach that point in space and time where we find the true meaning of our lives and our trajectory in it, where is the success of the shared mission. But in the same way that in life, the true mission is not in reality that which is dictated in a book of norms, nor is the one that covers the shadow of a great flag, nor even that which dictates a great thinker, nor that which defends to the extreme a great patriot willing to be immolard by it…

The meaning of what we do, our reasons, our passion for bringing our desires to make them reality, are not justification for putting them before the meaning, reason and passion of those who share with us the way. What good is my reason if that reason does not serve positively others?. What sense has a dogmatic rule if it does not add value to the common project?.

We all have a mission, a project in life that sometimes it’ hard to be understood by the rest, but that should actually have a single sense…, to provide value to help others to get over theirs and move forward together towards achieving a collective goal…: to improve and grow.

Dogmatismo Vs Liderazgo

Muchas empresas actuales adolecen de falta de liderazgo en su organización interna; permanecen estancadas en un funcionamiento encorsetado en dogmatismos que chocan con la cultura empresarial moderna, donde a las personas no se las gestiona, sino que se las lidera. Pero…, ¿qué significa realmente el liderar?.

Liderar es conocer y respetar, es transmitir pasión por lo que se hace y desplegar ilusión y reconocimiento por lo que se consigue. Liderar es buscar un equilibrio entre lo pragmático y lo emocional, porque ambas cosas forman parte fundamental de nuestro entorno. Un líder debe gestionar las emociones porque son un vínculo en las relaciones interpersonales dentro y fuera de su equipo. Y éstas, a su vez, son el lubricante que hace funcionar correctamente su engranaje. Por ese motivo, la función de esas emociones no puede sustituirse por normas y procedimientos, o por una especie de autismo profesional.

Los líderes deben huir de la rigidez en los planteamientos, deben ser flexibles, proactivos, cercanos y humildes. Ser concientes de que las personas son parte fundamental del proyecto colectivo, de que su contribución es irrenunciable en la misión de conseguir el éxito y deben sentirse como tales en todo momento, porque son el más importante patrimonio de la empresa.

La cultura organizacional debe promover que los integrantes de un equipo sientan que son parte de él y de su razón de existir, deben hacer que el talento individual y la inspiración afloren sin miedos y ambos se desarrollen en un ambiente de trabajo positivo, optimista y orientado a mejorar y a crecer. La capacidad de liderazgo es vital y una organización que aspira al éxito debe saber elegir a líderes que sepan contribuir en su desarrollo.

Estos líderes tendrán como objetivo principal el establecer pautas de trabajo en equipo que sean eficientes y con un fuerte enfoque colaborativo. No hay cabida para dogmas e imposiciones unilaterales, ya que cuando éstos se apoderan de las dinámicas de un equipo, desestimando la confianza en las capacidades y compromisos individuales, se empiezan a deteriorar los vínculos emocionales, la propia confianza y la motivación. Con ello, poco a poco la maquinaria que aporta valor se bloquea y la contribución del equipo a la empresa inicia un camino acelerado de caída hasta estrellarse es un sonoro fracaso.

Saber liderar permite gestionar el potencial de un equipo y llevarlo a su mayores niveles de eficiencia y contribución, pero también de compromiso hacia los objetivos generales de la empresa.

Miguel Ángel Beltrán

Dogma Vs Lidership

Many current companies suffer from a lack of leadership in their internal organization; they remain stagnant in a functioning corseted in dogmatisms that clash with the modern business culture, where people are not managed, but are led. But … what does it really mean to lead? .

Leading is to know and respect, is to transmit passion for what is done and display enthusiasm and recognition for what is achieved. Leading is to find a balance between the pragmatic and the emotional, because both are a fundamental part of our environment.

A leader must manage emotions because they are a link in interpersonal relationships inside and outside of any team. And these, in turn, are the lubricant that makes your gear work properly. For that reason, the function of those emotions can not be replaced by norms and procedures, or by a kind of professional autism.

Leaders must flee from rigidity in the approaches, they must be flexible, proactive, close and humble. Be aware that people are a fundamental part of the collective project, that their contribution is indispensable in the mission of achieving success and they must feel that way at all times because they are the most important asset of the company.

The organizational culture must promote that the members of a team feel that they are part of it and their reason for existing, they must make individual talent and inspiration emerge without fear and both develop in a positive, optimistic and oriented work environment to improve and grow.

Leadership capacity is vital and an organization that aspires to success must know how to choose leaders who know how to contribute to its development. These leaders will have as main objective to establish guidelines for teamwork that are efficient and with a strong collaborative approach. There is no room for dogmas and unilateral impositions, because when they take over the dynamics of a team, rejecting confidence in individual capacities and commitments, the emotional bonds, self-confidence and motivation begin to deteriorate. With this, little by little the machinery is blocking and the contribution of the team to the company goals starts an accelerated way of falling to crash is a resounding failure.

Correct team leadership can manage its potential and take its highest levels of efficiency and contribution, but also of commitment towards the general objectives of the company.

Miguel Angel Beltran

Don’t fear the failure, face the challenge.

The fear of failing and being exposed for this reason is human. Given this, when it’s your turn to face new challenges, both doubts and insecurities appear and somehow pushes you to curse the moment you agreed to accept them. You even get to ask yourself something similar to “why I didn´t reject it and keep myself been doing what I did before…?. Back there…, huddled in my comfort zone and almost free of all evil…”.

Your unsteadiness seems drives you to think that it would have been better to keep yourself in a corner, the one you think is under your control, and let others come to the battlefield, let others to lead the discussion, share knowledge and take the initiative … In short, you are tempted to reject the challenge and its risks, to avoid having to go through the bad swallow of disappointment, to be in evidence, to suffer the sensation of ridicule…

But you do not…, you refuse to resign. You do not back down and decide to face all those fears. Not out of courage, or out of pride, or out of a desire to be a protagonist…, you do it out of coherence and responsibility, because you presented yourself in front of your people as a professional and because your responsibility as professional is to be coherent and not disappoint them.

You say to yourself that this coherence implies take advantage of any opportunity offered to you that could help to add value to the project in which you decided to commit. You know well that challenges not only mean a risk of failing in front others, it is also an opportunity to the contrary. It is your chance to contribute to the goal, to reinforce your own personal image, to increase respect and security in yourself.

If everything were as easy as that, surely it would not be necessary to talk about it. The truth is that there are no fixed rules to acquire security in oneself, nor magic recipes for success in personal improvement. Of course, I do not know exactly how we should act, but I do believe that the first step should be to open up to oneself and ask the right questions with honest answers. Questions like what is the real value of my contribution to the goal or what extent that value has a positive impact for the objective and results that I share with others. I should ask myself if that value represents everything I can really do or if I could do something additional to enrich it.

I suppose that the motivation has a lot to do with this, although certainly that motivation tends to be more limited as we go down the ladder of responsibilities within the structure of a company. However, there is no position in a well-structured company that does not have a reason to exist; from the position of the general manager to that of the last assistant. All of the have a necessary role to achieve the common goal and that task goes beyond the simple work associated with them, either in the management of an order, in the commissioning of a machine, in the maintenance of the plant or in the company’s own address. But all these positions also have the responsibility to detect areas of improvement in their environment, propose solutions to problems and even implement these solutions. We must do it…, since we are the best connoisseurs of the particularities of the work for which we are responsible and therefore, the first that should make proposals aimed to add value to our own work.The “Added Value”, that «extra» we can contribute individually is key, no doubt on that since it is the fuel that our company feeds to be competitive. The added value helps to differentiate our proposal and keep us away from mediocrity …, and from mediocrity we have to move away as from the plague.

I spoke before about the fear of failure, about the fear of making a fool of himself in the face of a wrong decision and about being exposed by it. Personally, I´m more afraid of mediocrity than of making a fool of myself and I´m sure that all professional must accept the risk of error as part of the play rules. However, unfortunately there are those who, out of fear of failure and ridicule, accept mediocrity as a way, and with it, they become a simple ornamental element perfectly dispensable.

In fact, mediocrity is a concession that we allow ourselves to justify that we do not want to do more to improve what we do, even when we are aware that we are capable of doing it, either because we believe it is useless, because we are not valued, because others do not or because we simply don´t want to do it.

We should be always moving our efforts as close as possible to our levels of incompetence, but never to settle beneath them; we must try to reach them and try to overcome them always. Excellence is not achieved by acting with the rhythm of minimum effort, mainly when we know that this rhythm is below our own capabilities.

Our path should always be oriented towards excellence in everything we do and practically make it almost a way of life. However, in reality, excellence is never achieved; excellence is only a horizon to which we decide to direct ourselves or not. And there is no instruction manual to take us there, what do exist are certain guidelines that can mark the way.

First of all, we must mark the GOAL. Our goal must be ambitious but realistic, not a chimera that we probably can never reach and that will lead us to failure and frustration, something that does not interest us.

Another guideline is the KNOWLEDGE. But not only the one that refers to our academic training or professional experience, but to the knowledge of our environment; that of our work team, that of their strengths or weaknesses and that of ours, that of our competitors, that of the needs of our clients, their priorities and expectations, the reality of the market … We need information to know and understand the scenario where we are.

We also need a PROCEDURE. We cannot make the way like chickens without heads. It is necessary to trace the route, establish control points and action protocols, it is necessary to know where we go and how we´ll walk the way.

We need RESOURCES, not only the technological ones, also the humans; those that have to do with the commitment and motivation of the people in front the objective and their contribution in teamwork…

And finally, the ATTITUDE. Attitude is the most important factor of all since although we can have knowledge, a well-developed procedure and sufficient resources, if we do not have a positive attitude we will certainly fail.

We are facing a change in the professional model that undoubtedly forces us to also change our perception of ourselves and our attitude. Attitude is a powerful medicine, something that we must cultivate to adapt our work to a changing environment of increasingly demanding market and technological revolution that is beginning to overcome our ability to understand and assimilate.

But there are more guidelines to take into account in the eternal search for excellence in what we do. Without a doubt, TALENT is one of them; the ability to learn and apply what we have learned, our ability to do relevant things based on the knowledge acquired through many years of effort. Also, our ability to INNOVATE, to create and renew what has been created and advance in what we are capable of building.

Being PROACTIVE…, take the initiative, be bold and ambitious in learning, improve and grow. We must be FLEXIBLE, because our scenario is changing, it is more and more active and complex. We have to adapt ourselves to an environment that request a continuously update. And of course, we must be PERSEVERING and firm in our conviction that we should not be content with the successes obtained.

In any case, beyond I´m fully sure that all these guidelines are fundamental to achieve success, the reality is that there are no achievable goals and challenges or individual and collective successes that we can face that do not require having PASSION for doing so. Personally, it is impossible for me to participate in a project that I’m not passionate about; It is like deceiving yourself and deceiving others. You feel PASSION for participating in something when you think you are contributing to its success. This is the reason because it is so important to be honest with ourselves and aware of the real value of our individual contribution, since if we understand that this personal contribution is not up to the task, we must start working immediately to improve it. But if we still find ourselves unable to do so because we understand that we have finally reached our particular level of incompetence, maybe it is time to change our professional compromises and try to find a new project to which we can contribute with value, keeping us growing in the desire to reach our horizon of excellence.

Miguel Angel Beltran