Hello, dear people, let me introduce myself to you and tell you why I am going to talk about this topic and why I think it is important.
I am Ivet Pavlova. Since 2014 I have partnered as a coach with entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized business owners, start-up business owners and their teams, leaders, and employees in medium and large companies, as well as coaches from all over the world. My experience shows that most of them, for whatever reason they have contacted me, need to work in three main directions in parallel in order to emerge from difficult situations, namely: 1/business or professional development, 2/development of leadership skills, and improving the communication with people at work and at home, 3/self-care and improving their life balance. So, I gradually integrated business, leadership, and life balance coaching into my coaching programs based on the wellness concept for leading a fulfilled life. I have achieved a holistic approach to solving business and leadership challenges because I believe that business, leadership, and life balance are interdependent. We need to develop them together to preserve our health, energy, inspiration, and fulfilment at a good, even high level in the present and the future. And to be able to create such an environment for the people around us contributing to their well-being. Being able to achieve these things, in my opinion, is important, both for ourselves as people, for our children, for our partners, for the people in our teams, even for our businesses themselves, so that we can live in a better world. And how this holistic solution can be achieved, you can learn in this guide.
Everything I work with my clients I have experienced before that and I have worked for myself in my personal development searches. This personal experience of mine has developed my intuition at times, revealing my gift to be able to give people exactly what they need to emerge from difficult situations in business and life very quickly.
Also, I have developed author pieces of training that support my work as a coach. They are built on my experience, the needs of my clients, and my inner striving for change in the world. In them, besides the skills we learn and train with the students, we provoke an internal transformation without which new skills are impossible to integrate into reality. Here are the topics of some of my training: stress release and connecting with positive resources, development of empathic communication skills, communication with ease and joy, coaching with constellations to find new solutions in business and life, etc.
Why do I think that the topic “Empathy and its relationship with success, motivation, money and abundance” is important?
In my opinion, humanity is currently facing enormous challenges that shake the material world. It is up to us what new world we create. It is up to every one of us.
Many people strive for love and understanding, but often the path to achieving this intuitive goal is hidden from ego and material desires and many people neglect this need.
What happens when we are disconnected from love and empathy? How does this impact our business, leadership style, and our lives, as well as the life of our children?
Stay with me to learn more from my experience.
In this guide, I share what I have discovered and how it is applicable in reality so that we can create a new way of business and relationships that bring more fulfilment, peace, and goodness to the world.
Before I continue, I would like to remind you that this guide is from the author-Ivet Pavlova, and is protected within the meaning of the Copyright and Related Rights Act. If you quote this material, you should indicate the name of the author.
Have a good reading!
Empathy and its relationship with
success, motivation, money, and abundance
(A guide for stress reduction and finding fulfilment)
Empathy and its relationship with success and motivation
(A path to reducing stress and connecting with joy that underpins success and motivation)
I start my story with an example of my practice as a coach:
- A client came to me with the following problem “I started a new job and I like the team very much. I‘d like to stay, but I make mistakes all the time, and now I doubt I’m doing it. People are very patient with me, and that makes me tighten up even more and make even more mistakes. I would like to succeed and remain in this team, but I fail every day.”
According to my experience, this kind of self-sabotage comes from the past. So, I decided to test. We begin the coaching session and I put the client in a situation of his choice, in which he makes mistakes — to feel his emotions at this moment and to remember a story from the past he felt like this. It comes out of his teenage years when his mother was angry with him about that he had received a grade “very good” at school instead of “excellent”, and she was yelling at him and saying, “I want you to be successful!” He, still in the role of the child of the past, shares “I do not understand what she wants from me. I feel very confused, misunderstood, unapproved, unsupported and without a direction.”
This is what the lack of empathy (understanding) and the vague messages we send to our children can lead to, especially in our quest to make them pursue our goals — an approach that requires obedience and execution. (How to do it with an empathic approach, we will talk below)
And if in our childhood we have been subjected to similar behaviors and unclear requirements, it is possible that as adults we could sabotage ourselves in some important situations or goals for us. Also, it is likely that we apply the same approaches to people in our teams and at home. And in the conditions of a home office with children in online learning, stress is increased in times and you can imagine how such an approach can be strengthened and reflecting negatively in many directions.
For this, I believe that especially now in 2020 and beyond it is extremely important for people to develop an empathic communication style in companies, both among team members and in the leadership style, as well as at home. And if you feel you need to develop such skills in work, these skills will also have a positive impact on your personal life as well because we are the same person with different roles. Especially in a home office with children of online learning, these skills turn out to be invaluable. In addition to the development of the companies themselves, with the development of empathic skills, we will provide a more supportive environment for the next generations. And this creates a wave of positive change that we all seek or desire, even if we don’t realize it right now.
Why do I think so? Apart from the impression I got of communicating with people, in my practice, it turns out that regardless of the initial perception of my customers about their business or leadership challenges, going deeper into their problems, it turns out that:
- About 60 % of the topics about which people usually looking for solutions for their business, leadership or life balance, are related in a very specific way with the way they communicate with people in their team or with their clients, or with strangers at networking events, or with participants in presentations, as well as with people at home. But in most cases, people do not aware of this until we start to explore the topic. And, when they change the way they approach others, the way they connect and communicate with people, a new horizon opens for them and everything starts to happen to them with ease.
- About 20 % of the topics my clients put are about money, customer attraction and connection with abundance. And when we start revealing the layers of the problems, at the bottom they see that a large percentage of their challenges are based on the attitude and communication style they have experienced in the past and have adopted as their own.
That is why, and not only because of this, in my opinion, a big part of people’s challenges in business and life are caused due to the communication issues currently and in the past.
There are also studies that prove that the way of communication and in people’s environment is decisive for their health, happiness and success. I assume you believe in that from personal experience.
And since it all depends on us, I invite you to be part of this new wave and become a leader of a positive change in our society by finding more about yourself with this Guide and start changing your attitude and communication to a more empathic one, if you feel it is valuable for you.
- How exactly does empathy help us achieve more success and make more money?
- How are we going to achieve goals by being more empathic?
- How are we going to put the line between friendly attitudes and the requirements work to be done on time?
In this guide, you will find several fundamental answers to these questions, practical guidelines and exercises.
Before we get to the answer to these questions, let’s first clarify what empathy is.
Neuroscience, based on the research on how to develop our emotional intelligence, shares that empathy is:
- Something that we carry with us on a biological level. It happens by clicking on neurons in our brains, which are called “mirror neurons”. This is the so-called “open-loop Limbic system”, found in all mammals, and it is responsible for socialization. It is a biological gift for raising children and living in societies.
Positive psychology, NLP and non-violent communication as methodologies define empathy as a way of communication that leads to “approaching communication” instead of “alienable communication”. According to these methodologies, empathy is:
- Understanding and respecting what others experience, as well as respecting and taking into account their needs and feelings when making decisions. This also means striving for a win-win approach in communication, conflict resolution, negotiating terms, deals, and daily communication with colleagues, children, and partners.
So, empathy is closely related to our feelings and emotions when communicating with other people. In an environment where rudeness, manipulation, or violence dominates, we can lose our empathy or forget about its existence.
In this guide, I set out on the path to restoring the empathic skills lost in the process of stressful lifestyles. (Cases of brain damage or biological absence of mirror neurons are not discussed here.)
There are people who are super empathetic. I, for example, am such a person. What does characterize super empathic people?
We cry with others, we cry in movies, we laugh and we are happy when our loved ones are happy, we can easily get involved in other people’s feelings and emotions. Our mirror neurons are very sensitive. So, working in the banking sector years ago, I often got very exhausted because I was involving emotionally in the problems of the people I worked with while trying to help them in finding solutions. I learned how to set the line when I learned coaching skills to become a coach. It turned out to be easy. It takes a little guidance and practice. These skills I teach people in my coaching programs and trainings.
Super-empathetic people are very often strong introverts, as I was. The reason for this is our oversensitivity to the world’s rudeness. That is why this type of people closes in themselves and reduces communication with others. From introverts, we can turn into extroverts, as I did. It happens with inner work. The reward is a connection with the abundance.
The effect of the empathic way of communication when we know how to put healthy boundaries is huge. Reading these pages, you will realise that.
The problem due to the lack of empathy.
And if we go back to the above example of a mother-son conversation, we can see how the mother’s communication style affects her child, namely:
- The son remains with the feeling of rejection, confusion, and disapproval, which alienates him.
- A trauma remains in his soul that causes him to be insecure and self-sabotaging, stopping himself from developing.
- This, in turn, hinders his success and hence the money he receives.
- Hence, influences his self-esteem, which in turn can also impact his personal life, namely in his relationship with his partner.
With this example, I illustrate how the past actually affects our behavior and the way we connect and communicate with people in the present.
Everyone has their own story, which they carry on “their backs”. And if someone reacts against us in a way that we don’t like, instead of taking a defensive or offensive position, before we label that person as “stupid or bad”, or something else, it would be good to understand that there is something deeper. It is good to remember that their behavior is not personal to us. The reason they behaved like this was their personal history. Actually, they reacted through their traumas and past experience. For this, we could be more understanding and supportive of these people reversing the way we communicate, becoming leaders of positive change in the communication.
We are all leaders
We are all leaders, whether in our family or in a business environment. We are leaders of our lives. We are also often followers of other people. We could be in the two roles. Also, some of us are partners, others are future parents. These are leadership roles as well. In each of these relationships, empathy matters a lot.
The first change we could make is to try to understand before we want to be understood in the conversations. This applies both to colleagues and partners, and to children. Very often, instead of being understandable, we start giving advice, criticising, giving instructions or assessments. That’s not empathy. How to do it with empathy, you will learn below.
There are cases where, no matter how hard we try to be understandable or empathetic, some people remain toxic and manipulative. Sometimes their aggression just floods us. Then we have a choice whether to stay in this relationship or not. We will talk about this topic in the second part of this guide. Global problems are not the subject of discussion here. In this guide, we will remain at the level of small communities such as companies, teams and family. And I believe that change begins with us, from each of us.
In his book “The New Leaders” Daniel Golman defines one of the leaders’ functions as follows:
- People who follow the leader (employees, children or other types of followers) seek a supportive emotional relationship with the leader — seeking empathy.
For this, if the formal leader cannot give such support, then there is someone else from the team who has the function of an emotional leader. The relationship with the first one remains only formal. Their credibility has been reduced because they cannot respond to the need for support, but rather people are afraid of their response. Can you imagine how much information this person is losing? In the same way, a non-empathic parent loses touch with their child, who stops sharing their challenges. Each of these things has its consequences.
What happens when we change our approach from demanding, controlling, and grumbling to an empathic one?
Participants in my training and individual coaching programs share the following effects of our work together:
- “Now I hear better what the other person wants to say, and I can gather a lot more information. It’s like people open up more to communicate,”
- “The tension is dropping and I can communicate freely,” “I feel light and inspiration,”
- “It’s interesting to monitor how by changing my approach people no longer react in the same way”,
- “A sharp change happened in my relationship at work and at home. Now everything happens peacefully and calmly. Work goes without unnecessary emotions, and there are more smiles and understanding at home.”
These are just a few examples of the change that happens when we change our attitude and the way we communicate.
And if you think that is useful for you, you can start today. And because it is easier to start applying empathic skills to the people we love, I will continue with the example I gave you with the mother and the boy to illustrate how change works.
I would suggest that the conversation between the mother and the boy should take place in this direction:
- Mother: “You have a grade “very good”. Something was not enough and you were not able to get an “excellent”. (Here we only say what we observe, without raising the tone, without judging or blaming the person. We do not ask but name our observation impartially. If we ask a question, it is а curiosity, not empathy.)
- The son will probably say that: “Yes, I didn’t do ..”
- Mother: “I’m disappointed. I‘d like you to have A’s because I want you to succeed in life. How can I support you?” (The mother expresses her feelings; she says what her needs or desires are and she is willing to assist in achieving them.)
What is changing?
- The child has the opportunity to take stock of his achievement without being judged.
- The child receives emotional support, which is extremely important for future successes.
- There is no unnecessary tension, no confusion, no misunderstanding.
- His confidence and self-esteem are not undermined and will be nurtured in the next steps.
The correlation between professional and personal relationships is very clear here and why we cannot separate them. And it explains why they are so connected and for us, as people, it is so difficult sometimes to be only in “business behaviour”, and why we often pursue success but we cannot achieve what we want. In this coaching session with my client, we heal the detained feelings and emotions that paralysed him. And the next working day he showed incredible results in his work. After a month he was promoted.
Let’s go back to empathy in leadership and answer two of the questions we have raised above, namely:
- How we, as leaders, can we be more understandable (empathic) and at the same time require work to be done on time?
- How does empathy help leaders to motivate people?
I will illustrate these issues with another case of my practice:
- A client co-owner of a company and leader of one of the teams came to me with the following request: “We have an emergency project, the deadline for its delivery is approaching, and we are nowhere. The work is huge, I want to find a new way of organising the work and how to improve discipline so that we can deliver the project in time.”
We started working on the request and when I put the client to look at the situation from the point of view of the future as if everything had already happened in the best way and on time, I asked “what have you changed to achieve this?” my client replied, “I have connected with love”. So, in this session instead of changing the organisation of work and discipline, we worked for connection with love. Yeah, it happens a lot in my work with people.
In fact, this is how we can regain our empathic skills:
- by reconnecting with the love inside us for ourselves and for people as people and by recovering our ability to communicate through the heart (not through the position of control, demands, fear, punishment and manipulation. The second happens when we have lost touch with our heart and we feel powerless.)
When we connect with the love within ourselves, we also connect with joy, we change our attitude, our expectations and the way we communicate. From this position we can be inspiring.
The next step is to find your own way how to put healthy boundaries in order not to get involved in people’s emotions and in the same time to stay open and supportive.
This is very individual process and it becomes very easy in the coaching sessions with me. This is what my client did — he became an inspiration for his employees, instead of working on the discipline. Two weeks later, he called me happy and said, “Ivet, thank you so much! Everyone works on max, everyone cooperates, work goes well and we will meet our deadlines!”.
So, for me the benefits of empathic leadership and communication style are:
- Opening up to cooperation, inspiration, ease and joy in work, gaining followers and loyal employees who are inspired to support you in achieving your goals.
Let us now pay special attention to the word success, because I think this is important.
In NLP, we say that there are so-called “hollow words” and the word “success” is one of them. What’s that supposed to mean?
- If you ask 10 people what success is for them, everyone will answer different things. If these 10 people are of different ages, everyone will respond according to their emotional and spiritual maturity. That’s how the 15-year-old adolescent didn’t really understand his mother. So, the 30-year-old man who chases a career will perceive success one way, and a 45-year-old woman, another way.
For this reason, in empathic communication, such words, which have different meanings for each of us, should be clarified during the conversations for reaching an understanding about their meaning and people to be able to respond to the expectations and needs of each other in time. This saves disappointment and negative emotions, leads to mutual understanding and achieving common goals.
And at the end of the first part of this guide, and as a prelude to the next part, I will share with you what I came to as a conclusion about what does success mean for me now in this stage of my life after everything, I have learned so far:
- When we chase success, we actually want to be seen, to be recognised, to show that we are capable and valuable. There is nothing wrong with that. These is a way in which we expand, the way in which we grow, achieve goals and develop. But when we heal our souls and we begin to feel ourselves valuable, we no longer need to chase success.
- Then our attitude changes with another and the new type of question arises: what can I give to the world, to the people, so that I can be useful/helpful?
This way of thinking also helps us grow and achieve goals but from the place of love and service to people, instead of the inner belief of not being enough or “I need to prove myself”. We are moved forward not because we chase success, rather because we want to contribute. And we are happy when we succeed to do it. This is a journey. And the reward is people’s recognition that we have done good things. In this moment we feel that we have success about what we have done.
Empathy and its relationship with money and abundance
(Path for finding fulfilment and opening for abundance)
You will find practical exercises that will help you connect with the abundance in life if you need this. You can download the whole Guide here following this link:
Have a nice reading!
NLP & Somatic Coach
Business, Leadership & Life balance Coach and Trainer.