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Build High Performing Teams Podcast

May 12, 2020

Alright peeps in today's episode we're talking about a concept that I see leaders and employees struggle with a lot and it's the concept of empathy. It is a strength for some, yet it is confusing to others. My guest today, Alain Hunkins, is the best selling author of Cracking the Leadership Code, and he and I really dive deep, as people who have been working with leaders, facilitating training, and coaching for over 20 years each. We really gathered together to talk about how we define empathy, and how we work with a concept like holding space. It is one of the most powerful tools we can do because it involves being present and being grounded. Those are two mindsets or mentalities that I believe leaders, whether that's by title or by influence, need more of: empathy and the ability to hold space. We also delve deeper into some of the concepts of the book he's written. Alain also has over 10 years of blog writing on his website too so please check out this episode and really consider how you can leverage your strengths to demonstrate empathy and hold space for others in a way that's most authentic to you. Until next time, sending you guys peace and progress!


“As I look at my life, I saw a common thread. It is always easier to see the thread when you're looking backwards, and you're living it out. The thread has always been the fact that I've always been really fascinated by people. Why do people do what they do and specifically why is it that certain environments seem to support people's thriving and other ones don't? So that has always been really interesting to me. ” At minute 4:38, Alain shares a common thread he has discovered in his life, which is a love for people. He has always had a fascination with motivation and environments and how the two have intertwined together.

“Part of that is going to be, can you be an accountability buddy? You can be as formal or informal as you want. But the goal here, ultimately, is can you publicly declare to them, what your intentions are? And then, can they help you support you to follow through? There are so many things that we can benefit if we ask other people for support, instead of trying to go it alone.” At 20:06, Alain talks about the importance of finding a group of people who will support you and hold you accountable in achieving your goals. There is also power in publicly declaring your goals and speaking them into existence! 

“The biggest thing you can do to grow your empathy and frankly, as a leader, is to start listening with purpose which is very different from just hearing people to interrupt them, or to give them advice. We talked about holding space, parking your agenda, and putting that other person's agenda front and center to listen, with the goal of trying to understand them and to see reality, the way they see it, feel it the way they feel it, so you can understand what's going on.” At minute 38:40, Alain emphasizes the importance of listening in order to gain empathy with those around you. Put your own agendas aside so you can really understand what the person is thinking and feeling.

Alain shared a lot of valuable information about how to increase empathy and how to implement it in the workplace. He also gave a lot of helpful tips for all of us, so make sure you stay tuned!

Don’t forget to connect and follow Alain through his website, Twitter, and on LinkedIn. Check out his TEDx Talk “The Basic Truth Most Leaders Neglect.” And don’t forget to grab his book called, “Cracking the Leadership Code.” Go follow him now! 

I hope you liked today’s episode. Please don’t forget to subscribe on all podcast platforms and while you’re there, please don’t forget to rate and review! I truly appreciate and love you, and can’t wait to see you in the next episode!

Check out Anxiety at Work: A Guide for COVID-19 and Beyond

Download Virtual Teams During COVID-19: Mindsets + Values for High Performance Freebie

Watch my TEDx Talk on Leveraging Your Now to Get Your Best Next

P.S. Please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @theannaoakes and connect on LinkedIn to share your big takeaways and for more Build High Performing Teams updates. I’ll see you there! 

Peace & Progress,