Businessman Michael McIntyre says the two crucial traits of good servant leadership are empathy and proper listening skills. He stresses that it's easy to think about ourselves when we're hearing someone speak, even if we're just thinking about what we're going to say to them next, and then we're not truly listening to them.
"Maybe we have a really cool comeback or [something] to solve their problem, to be the fix-it man," McIntyre says. "And listen, sometimes nobody wants you to be the fix-it man or woman. They just want you to be the leader, listening to them; humble yourself and listen. ... Look for the uniqueness in their story."
Empathy has to do with setting aside arrogance and what you think you know to actually picture yourself in another person's shoes, McIntyre says on the Next Level Podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. McIntyre says because he was blessed in business and financially, when he sat down with someone who struggled financially, his pride would get in the way of being emphatic.
"I'm sitting down with somebody who has been struggling out there and at times, my arrogance would overcome that, and my pride would not listen to that, and I wasn't very empathetic. And then later on as I grew wisdom, and I had a few setbacks and got humbled again, I learned how to be empathetic with people and understand where they come from.
"Sometimes we forget, because listen, those times when you struggle, those times that are very painful, they're very difficult. You don't want to wallow in those times. You want to forget those times. Sometimes we block them out; we have that selective amnesia. ... Maybe you didn't have the same circumstances that they did. But let's try to imagine that you did. ... Ask God to give you the empathetic heart that Jesus has."
To listen to more characteristics of servant leadership, such as learning how to serve others while expecting nothing in return, click here.
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