The Beating Heart of Being Human

Dashmeet Kaur
2 min readNov 23, 2023

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Six months into being a people leader, I had my first one-on-one with a tough senior leader. As the conversation unfolded, he had an unusual query.

“Can you name the people you interact with daily?”

Slightly thrown off by this, I clarified, “Do you need the last names as well?”

It took him a fraction of a second to say, “Yes.”

So, I began to share as many names as I could— team members, peers, direct leaders— without a pause. I also added a phrase after each name to reflect my experience with them.

Slowly, I started to notice the shift in his expressions; the stern lines softened, and warmth replaced them.

It wasn’t until later that he clarified the purpose behind this unusual inquiry. What he sought to uncover was whether, as a leader, I cared enough to know the names of those I collaborated with daily.

Knowing your team members’ names is more than a perfunctory task; it shows the delight of genuine care.

But, how does one learn to care? Is it an inherent trait or a cultivated skill?

Much of it is tied to understanding emotions. Emotions are the window to your soul, and by drawing back the curtains, you can identify and navigate them better.

As a leader, the expectation is clear: to lead, and lead effectively.

And how do you lead effectively?

By caring.

Caring about people.

Caring about possibilities.

Caring about purpose.

When this foundation is established, other aspects naturally fall into place.

It’s your actions that make people believe in your words. Your words make them believe in your thoughts, and your mindset makes them believe in the substance of those thoughts.

I’ve discovered that unraveling the complexity of emotions involves navigating both rationality and emotion simultaneously.

In fact, empathy is more than a buzzword; it’s the glue that binds people together.

This parallel between leadership and empathy extends into the realm of writing. If you find yourself here, having journeyed through these words, it’s because you cared.

In a world of rapidly changing trends, empathy brings you closer to yourself and, consequently, to those who should surround you.

Whether you’re a 9–5er, entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or a teenager, I encourage you to care for people and discover what brings you closer to who you are.

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Dashmeet Kaur

I write personal reflections and about anything that piques my interest. For writing gigs, reach out to me here: dashmeet19@gmail.com