Why We need More Empathy in the Workplace | Shola Kaye | TEDxPeckham
- Empathy, DEI, and communication speaker and facilitator; author and award-winning speaker
- Expert at creating psychologically safe, highly engaging, interactive experiences
- Former professional entertainer, culturally sensitive, creator of the Inclusion Launchpad program
Play Video View Fees
Shola Kaye helps global organisations prepare for the future of work using the power of empathy, effective communication and inclusion nudges. Shola’s work is frequently described as practical, easily implementable and inspiring. Her team has developed The Inclusion Launchpad, and The E.Q. Accelerator programs to help support lasting change. She shares accessible case studies and implementable insights gained from working with international corporations across a wide range of industries.
Shola’s clients include American Express, Deloitte, Google, IBM, Nestle, Henkel, Reckitt, HSBC and Oracle. She is the author of two books and has written for a variety of industry publications.
Early in Shola’s career, she worked in consulting and account management in New York and London with clients such as Goldman Sachs, Charles Schwab and British Airways. She has conducted neuroscience research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
What differentiates Shola as a speaker is that she has also spent time performing across the globe and captivating audiences as a professional entertainer. She therefore understands what it takes to keep her keynote attendees engaged and participating throughout the session, and she provides multiple opportunities for valuable self-reflection and outstanding levels of interaction.
Shola’s experiences as a Black woman working for global corporations gave her an understanding of some of the many challenges faced by companies today as they seek to create environments of empathy and belonging, supporting their ever-more diverse, often remote, teams. Her work allows organisations to increase innovation, bolster belonging and develop engaging, productive environments.
At the moment her most popular keynote is on Delivering Feedback with Empathy. Everyone needs to deliver feedback at some stage in their lives, and the way in which this is done has the power to make or break careers, as well as relationships!
Shola also works with many global teams that need to find ways to reduce bias and reach across cultural differences, creating an atmosphere of collaboration, inclusion and high performance. Her sessions on Inclusive Communication and Psychological Safety have been booked by a variety of international associations and, as a skilled facilitator, she’s often called upon to run sessions that are a hybrid between conventional keynotes, town halls, and large group workshops.
As an introvert herself, she loves to create experiences in which everyone feels deeply involved and empowered to participate fully. Her virtual keynotes often elicit hundreds of comments in the chat, with off-the-charts participation from attendees. She’s also a popular speaker for International Women’s Day and has worked with many organisations delivering communication programs that help women and other underrepresented groups speak up and cut through, enabling them to go further, faster, in their careers.
Delivering Effective Feedback with Empathy. Develop the skills to support and co-create your colleagues’ success. Delivering effective feedback is a valuable life skill. Feedback can be empowering, inspiring and can drive an individual, and their team, towards fantastic success.
However, if delivered in the wrong way, feedback can be divisive, demotivating, and destructive. And when we avoid giving feedback to spare someone’s feelings, the eventual outcome can be just as damaging.
- Discover the four elements required to create psychological safety so that your feedback is well-received
- Gain insights from powerful personal stories and statistics on how feedback affects motivation and performance
- Explore the repercussions of poor feedback styles such as The Drive-by, The Comparison, The Public Humiliation, and The Wrecking Ball
- Take away an effective strategy for delivering feedback as an individual contributor
After this session, you’ll feel renewed energy and enthusiasm for giving and receiving feedback. You’ll have a deeper insight into the role your personality plays when delivering feedback and will be able to take steps to optimise your performance. You’ll learn some effective frameworks for sharing feedback in a way that gets results.
Inclusive Leadership: Develop Cultural Awareness, Create Psychological Safety and Unleash the Potential of Your Global, Remote Teams. Inclusive leadership is essential for success in today's complex, dispersed and diverse workplaces. Inclusive leaders create a sense of belonging for all employees, regardless of their background, location or identity. This leads to increased engagement, happiness, and productivity. If you want your organization to succeed, you need to equip your leaders, and their teams, with the skills and knowledge to communicate inclusively.
- Understand the need for inclusive leadership, the six key traits of inclusive leaders, and how to translate those traits into essential behaviours
- Learn to develop a psychologically safe environment that supports innovation and creativity
- Develop cultural awareness and use language that is respectful and inclusive
- Recognise the power of inclusion nudges for remote and in-person teams, and learn some simple but effective strategies for running inclusive meetings
After this session you’ll feel better able to support your remote, diverse, cross-cultural teams, creating an environment of understanding, innovation and high performance. This session may also be delivered with a focus on Inclusive Communication, making it appropriate for individual contributors, mixed teams and whole company keynotes.
Human Skills for the Future-Ready Workplace. This keynote explores how emotional intelligence skills — in particular, empathy and self-awareness — can create a successful, high-performing workplace culture. Enlightened leaders focus on the whole person rather than on task accomplishment. Through understanding, emotional intelligence, and other ‘power’ skills, we can create environments of belonging, innovation, and productivity. This is an interactive keynote with opportunities for reflection and stories to help land the learning.
- Understand the benefits of an emotionally intelligent approach to overcoming differences and creating cohesion
- Recognise the value of self-awareness and self-regulation in the workplace
- Create a link between empathy, feedback and performance
- Gain insight into the generative power of encouragement and effective communication
This session helps your emerging and established leaders understand why it’s so important to recognise the whole person and develop stronger bonds with their teams. They’ll walk away with the practical relationship tools and transformational insights that facilitate success in workplaces of increasing complexity and technological advancement. Keynote may be additionally customised by mapping your corporate values onto the discussed skills and behaviours.
Elevating Empathy: The Power of Effective Listening. Walk away with the tools and the inspiration to become a more respectful and understanding leader, manager, or individual contributor. During this highly beneficial keynote, you’ll explore the vital components of empathy, how to be a better listener and how to develop compassion. Deepen your relationships and provide support for colleagues, friends and family.
- Explore data points that emphasise the importance of empathy and perspective-taking for workplace success
- Participate in powerful self-reflection exercises to learn more about your style of listening and your listening strengths and weaknesses
- Find out how empathy and listening support diversity, inclusion, engagement, retention and innovation in the workplace
- Explore the themes of curiosity, courage and being a catalyst for change
This session will help create an environment of understanding, lower resistance to change, and will prepare your employees for further interventions in the areas of D.E.I., Wellbeing, Emotional Intelligence, Kindness, Leadership Effectiveness and Respect in the workplace. Participants will take away frameworks and tools for approaching others with compassion, and communicating across differences.
Click one of these resources below for another way to find more speaker ideas for your audience.
Shola is a big impact speaker and compelling story teller. Her contribution to a critical event was arresting, memorable and inspiring. Be warned: her energy and positivity are highly contagious.
A great company-wide virtual keynote on Empathy in the workplace. It was a fascinating subject, and I think it was the most engagement I have seen with a topic – clearly it gave people food for thought and resonated. Our HR team has already said that they would like to incorporate some of the tools you gave us into the updated manager training programme. Our Diversity & Inclusion sponsor on the board of directors even contacted me to say that he really enjoyed the talk and especially how engaging it was for the audience – which I consider a great success!
Shola conducted a wonderful and engaging Webinar session on communication in Diverse Teams for UNFPA! Her method of using the chatbox on Zoom to make sure everyone was engaged was super helpful for those who were not comfortable speaking up with the large group of people she was presenting to. Shola was very well-spoken and kind and I would highly recommend her work to any organization looking to improve communication skills between colleagues and teams.
Shola has been running workshops for our organisation FOCUS for a few years and we love working with her. Shola’s energy and engagement skills are very strong. We have experienced her skills live and online and her engagement and results are exactly the same in both settings which is a true strength. Shola has a real warmth and human approach which makes all the difference to our professional audience. People do listen to her and benefit from her knowledge.
Shola is a fabulous speaker, she has excellent tips and techniques for public speaking... Shola is highly intelligent and approachable and was so well received by our Women In the Law audience at Grant Thornton. Shola is so unique in that she has an outstanding education, professional experience in the corporate world, is a writer and also a professional singer, and draws on all of her experience to deliver very inspiring sessions.
Shola was professional and friendly. She delivered an engaging speech and got our usually reluctant technology department interacting with each other which was great. Wonderful.
Shola was a key asset to our Women in Engineering event. Her energy lit up the room and her content was inspiring and relatable for every woman at the event. It was great to have Shola at our event to inspire current female students to strive for the best. Great energy and I'd love to work with Shola again sometime in the future.
I reached out to Shola, following an introduction from a colleague within our inclusion team. I was looking for a speaker to complement our agenda for international women’s day which was attended by over 120 female entrepreneurs and internal female corporates. Shola was extremely professional, the feedback we received off the back of her talk was fantastic. The audience was inspired and constantly engaged throughout the session, making this a great way to open our event. I would highly recommend Shola for any organisation that is looking for an inspiring / motivational speaker on communication in the workplace. Shola – thank you once again for your support on the day and bringing such great energy to the event.
An eye-opener for me. I exercise empathy often however, I considered it more of a nice to have. Now I realise the importance of it in our day to day lives.
Highly recommended, Shola’s approach is very engaging and effective. Shola ran a virtual session for us on personal brand in the workplace. The session was high energy and she encouraged the entire analytics team to participate via the chat and demonstrations. We came away with valuable insights and strategies that are easy to implement but will make a big difference to the way we communicate.
Shola ran an excellent virtual session for our delegates on Empathy in the workplace. The talk was informative, enjoyable and comprehensive. There were also high levels of interaction which engaged attendees from start to finish. The content was practical and a number of delegates mentioned that they will particularly benefit from Shola's N.E.T. framework which will help them practise empathy in three simple steps. I highly recommend this virtual session to any organisation needing to boost inclusivity, employee engagement and emotional intelligence among their people.
I attended a webinar presented by Shola around the idea of Empathy and it was excellent. It gave me immediate ideas and actions for situations in my professional life and also points on how to be self-reflective and a better listener and how this will impact relationships with others and organisational change. Shola was incredibly engaging and I could see so many ways her presentation could be useful for people in a variety of situations.
Thanks for an excellent session today. Not a comfortable area for me so your advice will be very helpful.