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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Do You Really Care?

Feb 06, 2019
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

What a great question to ask during the week of Valentine’s Day, right? In this instance, I am talking about empathy:

  • Would you notice if an employee were disengaged? Or were disengaging to others?
  • Have you been caught by surprise that an employee was “suddenly” leaving? What signs did you miss?
  • Would you inquire whether there seems to be something “off” with an employee or just let it go?

We hear about the Empathy Quotient (EQ), which is a self-measurement of empathy. And if you score low on the EQ scale, you can increase your emotional intelligence in several ways:  self-education, books, programs, training, etc.

Why do we need to care about this in the work environment? As we continue to invite new generations into the workforce, you will hear buzzwords like the whole person, work-life balance, effective feedback, etc. Each of these areas involves a degree of empathy and emotional intelligence. An example is when someone left their job because, when it came right down to it, no one ever said good morning to them. It was that environment that drove the person away. Missing what was considered a basic greeting was enough for the employee to decide to work elsewhere. In an environment where finding and keeping talented people will be critical to future success — no matter how you define success — you can’t afford to lose good people over others’ behavior.

I am not challenging everyone to be besties with everyone else. I am challenging the following, though:

  • Can you define when someone needs help by noticing their body language?
  • Can you tell when someone has an idea to share but is too overwhelmed by the environment?
  • Can you trust that your most talented — critical to the mission – employee(s) care or are being cared for?

If you answered no (or I don’t know), it may be time to identify ways that EQ can enhance your goals, mission and bottom line.

Wishing you a great day, and remember:  Lead with legacy.


Tammy Jelinek has over 20 years of experience in working in and with fabulous organizations. This blog will explore what it’s like for her to lead as a woman, as a GenXer, and as a person who truly wants to lead with legacy—meaning she wants to walk her talk. Tammy has presented training nationally across the United States, built businesses, coached amazing people and built a career in the squiggliest path known to man…or in this case, woman. She has a passion for being curious, helping people and making actions happen.

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Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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