A journey to empathetic leadership!

Today, we are a  part of a technology driven society and with artificial intelligence doing almost what a human can do. Where do humans stand against robots? What can we offer what robots can’t?

To redefine the definitions of leadership and introducing the component of empathy to the leadership, MASH Project Foundation in collaboration with Teach For India conducted a series of workshops from  February 11, 2019 to February 15,2019 with Hindu College, Amity University, Ambedkar University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

To be part of these workshop as a speaker, we had someone who is very passionate about how the young India is shaping, Ms. Devangana, Director of National Recruitment at Teach For India. She is a passionate educator who has put her heart and soul  into studying about autism, intellectual disabilities and has been working for inclusive schools across India.

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While we all grew up looking up to different leaders around us who inspired us to what we are and what we want to be, we look up at different values, skills and behavioural patterns in our leaders. But if we look at who our leaders are, we find them in our homes as parents, guardians or in schools teaching us the great things or maybe some political leaders who is representing us to the world or maybe some entrepreneur whose business mind just amazed us. But do we see empathy as one of the qualities of a leader?

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While we all prepare to go out as leaders and prepare hard skills, Devangana emphasised on how our soft skills are equally important and how the changing times where robots will be doing almost all the work that we do ourselves today our social and emotional skills would be something that people will look up for.

In such dynamics, we don’t need leaders who create followers but we need leaders who create more leaders.  How we should be responsible for creating more human capital and utilise their potential to the fullest in all capacities. To understand more on leadership and empathy we did a small activity called “ Prison and You” where we were supposed to give decision to a case but the twist was that you had to come to a conclusion with partner who is not on the same page. Through the activity process everyone understood that how important it is to listen, to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and how it is easy to overshadow other’s opinions but how important it is to take along everyone which is the Future of Leadership.

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To know more about Devangana and her thoughts we had a small town hall session where we got to know about how in a school she found the ‘why’ of her life. She also mentioned about she is greatly inspired by some very talented TFI fellows and how they work in one of the most difficult schools across the country and two years of their journey not just give them vision but also you take the experience in whatever you do next in your life. She inspired everyone to do something bigger than yourself, to devote some part of your life to really make an impact and to do something for all those who are the future human capital of this country.

The future of leadership is when we manifest change ourselves, when see ourselves as leaders and just remembering when you have a really strong WHY the HOWS become really easy.

 

  • Prapti Bhatia (MashKot)

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