Are you part of the 69%?

Sixty-nine percent.

That’s how many managers say there’s “something about their role” that makes them uncomfortable communicating with their employees.

It’s from a research survey conducted in 2016 by Interact Authentic Communication.

I’d be very interested to know how many non-managers are uncomfortable communicating with their managers. I’m guessing it would be at least 69%, and probably more.

I find this both sad and unsurprising.

We are not taught how to communicate.

Most communication programs focus on public speaking, presentations, conflict management, and traditional negotiation.

They don’t focus on how to connect with someone and truly understand them. They don’t offer tools or even clues about what it means to develop empathy for others or how to use empathy as a crucial skill for communication and leadership.

And yet more and more leadership articles, books, and “best practices” note that a leader’s or manager’s empathy is what makes or breaks their success.

After all, we know that the primary reason people quit is because of their manager, not their responsibilities.

The idea of learning to be more empathetic can be challenging, as I outlined in my last blog post. And yet, what are we giving up, missing out on, or losing because we don’t take that step to open up and learn?