Servant Leadership – about empathy and psychological safety

Servant leadership seeks to achieve a vision by providing strong support to employees. In turn, this allows employees to learn and grow while bringing their own expertise and vision to the table.

My name is Patrick and I’m learning to be a better servant leader every day. As a leader I strive to do the best for my employees and the company without forgetting about myself. This talk will be about servant leadership, the ability to be empathetic and how important it is to address psychological safety. And how I, as a servant leader, struggle with them and continue doing so on a contiuous learning journey. The phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. It states that a servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership is a very broad subject and we would be talking about this for days or weeks. As mentioned above, a servant leader focuses on growth and well-being of people. For a servant leader to do just that, having empathy or being empathetic is an important ability. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people's emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Being a servant leader also means that you have the responsibility to make sure people can be who they are and create room for ideas and opinions of others. It is that shared power combined with the needs of others that needs to be addressed. It is the responsibility of a servant leader to create that safe environment where people can speak their mind, listen to others and have respect for themselves and other people. You will learn what it takes to be a servant leader and you'll better understand how empathy and psychological safety help you and your teams grow together. Join me on my journey in becoming a better servant leader.

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