In this episode, we bust the longstanding myth that “emotions don’t belong in the workplace.” I am joined by Markus van Alphen, Founder and Director of The Excellent Organization. Markus is a renowned leadership psychologist, author of more than 15 books in Dutch and English, and lecturer on Excellent Leadership and Observational Listening, a term he coined to describe a methodology that takes active listening to a higher level. 

The psychological safety to express one’s authentic emotions is the key to improved workplace communication because these can’t be faked. Observational listening demands consistent and purposeful awareness of and empathy for our colleagues. This helps them feel supported, thus boosting performance, well-being, and ultimately, business success. In other words, empathy is a competitive advantage! In fact, an extensive Oxford and British Telecom study into happiness and productivity found that workers are 13% more productive when they’re happy. 


Markus’ most recent books include The Excellent Leader and The More Excellent Leader. The third book in this trilogy, The Most Excellent Leader, will be released in late 2023 and teach leaders dynamic conversation skills in specific situations. In addition, Markus offers a variety of courses sharing essential tools the excellent leader can use to be more empathic and emotionally intelligent.

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