In a recent podcast with Trina Limpert, she shares her journey of becoming a leader and how practicing empathy was essential to that success. Limpert is the CEO of RizeNext Corp—a leadership and culture consultancy agency focused on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces. 

Moreover, she’s the co-founder of TechMoms, which helps women transition into roles of technology. TechMoms boasts many achievements like being recognized in 2020 as the non-profit of the year by the Salt Lake Chamber. And if that’s not impressive enough, Trina herself was recognized by Utah Business Magazine as “30 Women to Watch“.

Economic and Social Impact

In 2019, Limpert received a daunting diagnosis—breast cancer. During that time, Trina explains how it made her take a step back and ask herself, “What kind of impact do I want to have?” After surgery, Trina received the good news of being cancer-free and remains so after 4 years. Still her question remained. After pondering it, she made a choice. While she was doing great financially, she wanted to invest in herself, implementing her leadership in order to make a bigger impact. 

So as a form of investing in herself, Limpert went back to school, Harvard to be specific. Aiming for corporate strategy, she learned new leadership strategies and put together models for driving diversity within an organization—something that would be a game changer down the road.

Navigating Emotion In the Workplace

Learning how to develop your EQ (emotional quotient or emotional intelligence) and how to avoid pulling away from emotion in the workplace is important for a successful leader, no matter how challenging this task may be. Limpert broke it down into four actionable areas:

  1. Self-Awareness – Asking yourself when reacting with anger—why? Is it really on the other person or is it something you need to work on?
  2. Self-Regulating – Being aware of your bias and learning how to regulate emotions in an actionable way.
  3. Social Skills – Are you aware of different social experiences? Do you find yourself uncomfortable in groups you’re not familiar with? Being aware of that discomfort but still putting yourself in those uncomfortable situations is vital to self-growth.
  4. Relationships – Being able to receive and give constructive feedback regardless of how scary it may feel is a catapult for personal development.

The workplace has evolved quickly in the last few years and the definition of a healthy workplace has become more defined. When it comes to leadership, the old structure of command and control doesn’t produce results anymore; rather, it creates an environment where people feel psychologically unsafe and small. 

Instead of a luxury, authentic empathy has become an expectation. We’ve all seen “pathetic” leadership and it has to go, starting with the leaders.

How to Practice Empathy in a Remote Workplace

Remote work has changed the workplace and has forced us to re-examine, starting with empathy. Limpert shares practices she’s used to combat the communication barrier that inevitably comes with an online workplace. In her remote team, she sets up one-on-ones for a few reasons:

  • Allow people to express themselves in a way they feel comfortable
  • Keep communication an open line
  • To utilize the power of reading body language

When face-to-face interactions aren’t prioritized, employees can become disengaged and feel disconnected to the company and each other. In turn, this can lead to lower morale and productivity. Limpert encourages leaders to make sure everyone is heard, that they know their team’s values, and understand the importance of creating space for people to be themselves.

Listen to the entire podcast and start working on implementing empathetic leadership in order to create an environment worth being a part of with Trina Limpert.