The UpSkill: Leadership Love Letters

HIGHLIGHTS: What employees need more of to do their best work (hint: it’s not a snack bar or ping pong table).

Leadership Development Digest from the Leadership Louisville Center

Originally sent February 2, 2022. Sign up for our email list here


Leadership Love Letters

“Employees are depleted. Employees are overworked. And employees want to feel personally valued and appreciated for their monumental efforts during the pandemic.”

Since the start of the pandemic, research has shown that employees have consistently reported more and clearer communication from leaders as a top need to be their best at work – along with work-life balance and feeling appreciated. As we near the holiday all about relationships, we urge you to think through how you can strengthen and build better connections with those you lead:

Practice Empathy. Though it sounds warm and fuzzy, empathy is a critical leadership skill, with tangible effects on innovation, engagement, and retention of employees. As employees fight burnout and power through yet another year of uncertainty, making them feel understood and heard will keep them on your (and the organization’s) team. Click here for 5 ways to practice empathy at work and in life.

Improve Communication Skills. Many people consider their social skills as innate, but communication truly is a skill that can be honed and mastered. Training courses in communication or difficult conversations can help you understand your own style, understand and practice active listening, and learn how to embrace rather than avoid touchy subjects that can help your connections deepen. See our upcoming training course list here.

Express gratitude. Individual expressions of appreciation and company-wide recognition programs are both vital to creating a culture of gratitude in the workplace. Consider meaningful ways to reward your employees: additional mental health days, professional development opportunities, and showing them the money are great places to start. Here are some other ideas.

Name the leader who said…

“Great leaders communicate and great communicators lead.”
Click to Tweet
or scroll to the bottom of this to see if you were right!


This month, the Leadership Louisville Center will host Justin Patton, Executive Coach, and author of “Bold New You,” for his full-day virtual workshop, Difficult Conversations: Your Reaction. Your Choice. This workshop is designed to help leaders cultivate candor, understand subtext, and explore ways to move relationships and business forward with both mutual understanding and trust. 

Virtual Course | February 17 | $450

Learn More & Register

Upcoming Leadership Training Courses

These are all open courses, but we also offer a variety of private training courses for your team or organization can be delivered in-person or virtually.


Staff Picks: Appreciation and Communication

  • Handwritten Notes (Aimee). “Any sort of handwritten note is my love language. I am a huge fan of telling people how much they mean to me and how grateful I am for their time, knowledge, friendship, or expertise. A kind word can go a long way, and I love the thoughtfulness and intentionality that comes with sending cards in the mail. Plus, they make some pretty creative and hilarious cards these days. What’s not to love about making someone smile?” Paper Source is her go-to for stationery.
  • Conversation Cards (Tara). “I’ve never loved small talk, but love getting to know people. Conversation cards are an easier way to prompt meaningful questions in a way that feels more natural than trying to work them into natural conversation. It makes it more of a game. I use these for our family dinnertime conversations, but also think work-specific decks at the beginning of meetings or casually at the office is a great way to build deeper connections.”


Simon Sinek

If you haven’t already read Simon’s book, Start With Why, be sure to grab a copy!

How do you like the new format? 

We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to respond directly to this email if you’ve got any feedback. If you’re interested in more customized communications from us, be sure to re-submit our email sign-up form with your updated preferences, and look forward to things evolving here in 2022!

Sign Up for our Email List