July 2016
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July 2016
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Executive Training for Empathy
Monday, July 11, 2016

All too often, training is thought of as something that’s only for new employees, or those who have achieved a new promotion. Top-level executives rarely train, and when they do, it’s uncommon for their management styles to shift completely. However, the idea is starting to take off. According to a recent study, about 20 percent of employers in the United States are offering empathy training for managers, showing a steady increase in the trend. What’s more, an international study that looked at 15,000 leaders in 18 countries found that leaders who expressed high levels of empathy generated 50 percent more income per employee. The bottom line is that empathetic managers create organizational success. Many of these training sessions involve putting managers through real-world scenarios and asking them to think through possible outcomes. In a recent session, Aaron Gibson, executive director of three YMCAs in Pittsburgh, was asked to deal with a fictional employee who wasn’t making his numbers due to personal problems. "The old Aaron wanted to say, 'I don’t care what’s going on at home, you need to hit your deadline,'" he said. "Now? It’s, 'Is there anything I can do to help you? Do you need some assistance?'"

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