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    Rae Shanahan is Chief Strategy Officer for Businessolver, a leader in benefits technology transforming the total healthcare experience. Businessolver is “Technology with Heart” and empathy is an important aspect of the company and leadership for Rae. She and Marcel discuss the layers of empathy in an organization and the benefits to employees and the organization as a whole. 


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    Businessolver. Since 1998, Businessolver has delivered market-changing benefits technology, and services supported by an intrinsic responsiveness to client needs. The company creates client programs that maximize benefits program investment, minimize risk exposure, and engage employees with easy-to-use solutions and communication tools to assist them in making wise and cost-efficient benefits selections. Founded by HR professionals, Businessolver’s unwavering service-oriented culture and secure SaaS platform provide measurable success in its mission to provide complete client delight.

    Show Notes

    Leaders, the “Coach” in Business

    “Empathy is about understanding people and where they need to be met.” [5:04] Rae Shanahan, CSO of Businessolver, opens the interview by sharing a great analogy of leadership and coaching. Coaches don’t practice with the team and leave them during the game when it really counts, and neither do good empathic leaders. They are there with support, understanding, and motivation through every step of the way. 

    Chief Empathy Officer

    “Every layer within the organization needs to focus on empathy.” [18:32] Empathy is important at every level, including at the top with CEOs. Rae explains the traditional saying of treating others how you want to be treated and instead looking at it through the lens of everyone’s unique situations. 

    Empathy and Psychological Safety

    “You cannot have a fear-based environment and foster empathy and the heart of leadership.” [22:58] “Blue Sparkle” is an initiative that Rae began 10 years ago at Businessolver, where employees share positivity from work or their personal life each day. Marcel connects this to Amy Edmondson’s work in psychological safety, and how it is truly needed for effective empathy.

    Financial Impact of Empathy

    “Grow our business, delight our clients.” [31:50] This statement is part of the mission at Businessolver. Rae explains how this simply can’t be possible without the culture they’ve created with their employees. When employees feel delighted and supported at work they will do the same for the clients and, in turn, grow the business. Marcel reminds listeners that this isn’t just empathy for empathy’s sake; it’s the right thing to do and it has an important impact on your business. 

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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