Like yours probably are, my office bookshelves and Kindle library are chock-full of management and leadership books, and Iâ€™ve used bits from these books to help me hire employees and craft our business culture.
But notice I say â€œcraft our business cultureâ€ and not â€œmanage employees.â€ As a user experience (UX) expert, Iâ€™ve learned itâ€™s best to intentionally approach management in an investigative way; to firstÂ understand and empathize with the user (the employee, in this case), and then design solutions that map to their needs.
In theory, with this approach,Â you would have to manage less because you have created processes, structures and plans that support employeesâ€™ realÂ needs and wants.
The question is,Â can you really walk in your employeesâ€™Â shoes and see things from their perspective as a leader? Is it empathy (feeling what they feel, achieving oneness, a sense of unity with others about their view, etc.) or is it projection (having the illusion of understanding their view when itâ€™s really just a way of seeing our own perspectives and biases from a different lens)?
To help me answer that â€” and learn how toÂ check my beliefs vs. facts about my team â€”Â I developed some hacks to helpÂ me clear away assumptions and become a better, more empathy-driven leader.