How to Be Empathetic When You’re Not Empathetic

Construction leadership jobs are harder than ever! Not only must you continually do all the things CEOs have always done (driving volume and margins, business development, retaining and acquiring talent, assuring safety, assuring customer satisfaction, etc.), now we read that the modern CEO must be empathetic. Being brutally honest, most of us in leadership positions today didn’t dream 20 years ago that would be part of our job descriptions!

Given that most contractors are rugged individualists and that empathy might not come naturally, what do we do? The good news is that, just like working on your golf swing or tennis strokes, you can work on yourself and improve the way you relate to your employees and trade partners. Please let us know in the comments section what techniques are working for you in terms of growing your empathy and connectedness with those around you.

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  1. Wayne, great points! I’m an executive coach, and active listening is one of the most common skills my clients work on. It can be hard not to be thinking of what I’m going to say next while the other person is still talking, but that’s another key to active listening. We can’t fully listen to others if we’re still listening to ourselves.

    Thanks for the wonderful vlogs. I look forward to each of them.

    • Cool! Thank you, Linda!

  2. I have a Weekly Report tool that allows my team to update me on how their week went in terms of stress level, morale, workload, weekly high, weekly low, and any other comments. It allows me to send a response email back to them from within the app. I am getting some really good feedback, and participation is almost 100%. I expected it to be ignored by most, but am pleasantly surprised by the participation.

    • I second that. I would love to use that app!

    • That’s cool, Nick. Mind sharing the name of the app?

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