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The Tangible Benefits of Creating an Empathetic Culture with Erika Sinner | Episode 167


In this episode we are exploring the tangible outcomes and benefits of creating an empathetic work culture with Erika Sinner.

Erika Sinner isn’t just the CEO of Directorie; she’s a catalyst for change in the realm of empathy at work. Her background, rooted in humble beginnings and marked by hard work, instilled in her the grit and tenacity that propelled her to entrepreneurial success.

She founded Directorie, a company dedicated to supporting small-to-medium-size life science organisations in delivering essential medications to patients who need them most.

In this episode, she shares some of her most powerful lessons.

Episode Highlights

  1. The True Impact of Unemphatic Leadership. Listen to Erika and Ben give you a masterclass in how not to handle redundancies and challenging conversations through their own shocking, real-life stories.
  2. Leadership Tips for Building a High-Performing, Empathetic Culture. Learn how to get a promotion by taking a counterintuitive approach. Andy shares his experience of gaining a promotion by focusing solely on getting others promoted.
  3. Does What Gets Measured Really Get Done? It’s a classic business cliche, but is it true? Listen to Ben and Erika talk about an extra magic ingredient to add to the mix. But, if you are going to try it, be ready to be ridiculed!
  4. The Important Distinction Between Empathy and Compassion. Which leaders have the most loyal followers, the empathetic ones or the compassionate ones? Erika and Ben have the answer for you.
  5. Compassionate Policies and Being Taken Advantage Of. What do compassionate policies look like in practice and what to do about the small minority of people who may take advantage of them.

Chapter Makers

(03:03) Erika’s most memorable leadership lesson

(07:28) The importance of empathy in leadership

(10:46) The impact of unempathetic leadership

(12:34) How not to handle redundancies

(19:08) Leadership tips for building an empathetic culture

(22:12) Engaging those resistant to change

(25:24) Is it enough to lead by example?

(27:36) Does what gets measured get done?

(29:19) Does empathy help you hit the numbers?

(30:13) The important difference between empathy and compassion

(36:54) Ben’s uncomfortable realisation about compassionate policies and pet bereavement

(41:43) Creating policies for the positive majority instead of the negative minority

(44:35) The best mistake Erika ever made

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Further Resources If You Loved This Episode

Check out episode 52 with Debbie Cohen & Kate Roeske-Zummer on “Why Humanity Works Better”. Debbie and Kate are on a mission to help leaders chart a new path forward, one that brings humanity to the workplace through awareness, choice, and courage. Listen here.

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More About Erika Sinner:

Erika’s unique moment that mattered occurred in the summer of 2023 when she faced the loss of her beloved Shar Pei, Kingston, and her other dog Edmond’s cancer diagnosis just weeks later.

This profound grief inspired her to lead more vulnerable and advocate for pet bereavement leave in organizations.

Her book, Pets Are Family serves as a first step in raising awareness about the necessity of such leave.

Erika’s mission extends beyond policy updates; it’s about bringing more empathy into the workplace, recognizing the shared human experiences that unite us all.

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