3 out of 4 stars
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Michael Brisciana is an HR professional who has worked with numerous companies and non-profits throughout his career. In his book, Empathetic Leadership, he lists 47 tips for leaders to help them create and manage their teams, develop workplace culture, lead by example, mentor others, and manage their own career without burning out. At just under 200 pages, the book is a short read that will provide information for not just leaders, but anyone who is looking to improve their workplace environment.
At the start of the book, Brisciana is quick to mention that there are no new or hidden secrets being revealed in his book. Everything he writes is common sense, and anyone who works in a business setting has probably learned the same things in their college courses or from reading other how-to books in the business world. However, despite how easy or "obvious" some of Brisciana's tips may seem, many of us still find ourselves struggling at work. We know ways in which we can help ourselves or overcome obstacles, but sometimes we need reminders. Empathetic Leadership is the perfect quick read to achieve this.
I myself am not a leader, but I work for a start-up company where the executives and leaders take most of the responsibility and have their plates full bringing business in to make a profit, but are unable to actually manage tasks once the deal has been sealed. Before reading Empathetic Leadership I thought I could point out exactly where things are going wrong. I still know what the problems are, but now in my empathetic state of mind, I've realized that solving the problem won't be as easy as just pointing fingers. I also feel like I'll be able to do a better job training new recruits if we ever get any new additions to our team.
The tips in Empathetic Leadership are very short. Honestly, if I ever feel stressed about something at work, I will probably be able to whip it out, read a few pages, and feel calmer in less than ten minutes. Even if the information is not necessarily new to some people, there's no harm in being reminded. Brisciana's kind and gentle personality shines through in his writing, soothing the reader. Also, I loved the quotes that he included at the beginning of each chapter. However, some of his stories lack detail, seeming to end before they even begin. Also, I found a good handful of errors that easily could have been discovered by another round of proofreading.
Despite all of the points mentioned above, I enjoyed Empathetic Leadership and believe it should be required reading for all leaders. The only cons I could see in it were the grammatical errors and typos I found, which is why I give it 3 out of 4 stars. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a leader but I can easily see Brisciana's tips coming in handy in the future. I recommend that everyone read this book, no matter what profession you work in or where you are on the corporate ladder. In fact, it may be more useful for young employees than those who have experience leading, so that they can prepare themselves for if and when they find themselves in a leadership position.
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