Beyond Servant Leadership: The Evolution to Empathetic Leadership

The concept of servant leadership is nothing new in the agile community. Servant leadership shifts the focus of leaders from managing teams to empowering and supporting teams. But as the world continues to evolve, are we really forming the connections we need to have truly high performing teams? Empathy forms the foundation of connections between individuals, teams, and organizations, and is the key to successful in supporting the needs of our customers and society. To have truly high performing teams, we need to move beyond servant leadership to a more empathetic leadership mindset. So how do we recognize, nurture, and grow empathy and grow from Servant Leadership to Empathetic Leadership?

This workshop will guide participants through several topics. We'll explore how empathy changes our thinking, how empathy and agile success relate, and how to build empathy within ourselves, our teams, and our organizations.

 
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Outline/Structure of the Workshop

I've been using this workshop with teams and typically span several sessions as the team grows and so have modified some of the activities here. For this 45 minute session, I will focus on introducing each concept and will use exercises done at the tables to drive understanding and how it could be applied to their environments. There is not a required level of experience with agile since the concepts can be applied at any level of agile maturity.

Timeline:

0:00 - Introduction Exercise - have people at the time find something they all share in common beyond an interest in agile. Can be family related, work related, education, etc. - builds data driven relationship example.

Theme 1 - What is Empathy?

0:05 - Empathy vs Sympathy, Mapping empathy, design thinking, and agile success

0:10 - Game - Understanding empathy and thought patterns.

This exercise demonstrate how empathy can drive thought patterns. Tables will be given a variety of materials and each individual will have cards with tasks, some of which conflict/compete with each other. They will work keeping their cards private for the first 10 minutes. They will then share their cards and work together collaboratively for another 5 minutes. The remaining time will be used to share out experiences with the room. The goal is showing how once you can empathize with a team member by understanding their motivation (from sharing cards) they will change their thought patterns and responses to actions.

Theme 2 - Recognize Empathy

0:30 - Diversity, data relationship, trust, empathy interviews driving empathy growth and impacts on team culture

0:40 - wrap up & Q/A

Learning Outcome

In this workshop we'll work together to:

  • Define Empathy
  • Describe how empathy drives successful agile teams
  • Explain how we recognize, nurture, and grow empathy

Target Audience

Leaders, Managers, Team members, Agile Coaches, Transformation leaders

Prerequisites for Attendees

Willingness to participate

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

Public Feedback

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  • Phillip Manketo
    By Phillip Manketo  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Beth.. can you please provide your presentation deck supporting this talk in order for the organizing to make an informed decision.  Also, the conference does not pay for travel or any other type of financial reimbursement... are you willing to travel from Washington state on your own dime if accepted?

    • Beth Hatter
      By Beth Hatter  ~  7 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Philip- sorry the reply by email didn’t come through clearly. I am away from my computer for a few days but will post the deck of a similar session when I return. In response to the second question my company pays my time/travel when I speak so that is not an issue for me and I have enjoyed presenting at AgileDc in the past. Thanks! 


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