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Kirsh Design

Kirsh Design The Culture Chronicles

Empathy 🌠

July 24th, 2019

Many years ago, this prairie girl left the nest to join an established interior design firm in Toronto. It was a dream come true! Excellent mentors and an inspiring partner, who was my new role model. Until one day, my role model unexpectedly uttered unpleasant words, after an arduous rally to meet a deadline. Partner number 2 was dynamic and creative and routinely expressed harsh comments to the talented crew. We accepted this behaviour as part of the privilege of working here. However, for me, the glitter had worn off. From this early experience, I learned the value of leading with empathy and kindness. Rank does not entitle rudeness. This behaviour would not be part of my Community.

Today, leaders must be skilled at many things, and emotional intelligence may be at the top of the heap.  Empathy, the ability to see someone else's perspective, understand their view and act with compassion plays a significant role in making a great leader and team builder. According to author and leadership expert Simon Sinek, the ability to recognize and share other people's feelings is the most important instrument in a leader's toolbox.

Sinek says researching his latest book has even changed the way he conducts his own life and business. "The lesson I'm learning is that I'm useless by myself. My success hinges entirely on the people I work with—the people who enlist themselves to join me in my vision. And it's my responsibility to see that they're working at their best capacity."

I am happy to report that empathy is innately present in humans. The more we practice it, the better we develop it (just like everything else). It's no wonder studies reveal that employees do their best work when supported by empathetic cultures and leaders.

Millennials seek work experience where their input is valued, their Community fostered, and their employers care about creating a better world. Bravo Millenials! We need more empathy and caring in our workplaces and our world.

At Kirsh Design, those early career lessons have in part, influenced our Culture of empathy and Community. It starts with our team and extends to our valued clients, our partners in co-creation. More on the evolution of our Culture soon.

I love this quote from Gary V "If you think about business like a computer, Culture is the operating system. Everything else is an app. Finance is an app. Creative is an app, Strategy is an app, but Culture is the operating system."