Dr. Nicole Price is the CEO of Lively Paradox, a professional training and coaching business based in the heart of the United States. A few years ago, Dr. Nicole would have been the last person to tell a leader to practice empathy. Today, her work brings empathy to boardrooms across the country and creates stronger, more sustainable companies. Kansas City, as the Heart of the nation, can be the spark of empathy for the rest of the country.
I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.
- Maya Angelou
“When should you fire a person? The moment you think of it.” This was a piece of wisdom Dr. Nicole used to share with companies and auditoriums filled with cheering HR professionals. To Dr. Nicole, this was simple pragmatism. Owing perhaps to her background in chemical engineering, Dr. Nicole thought she was being extremely logical, cutting the Gordian Knot at the root of workplace strife; remove the detractors and their complaints will leave with them.
“My audience of human resource personnel would laugh and laud me afterwards for my great presentation,” she remembers. “Yes, that’s right, people working in human resources ate up my take-no-prisoners leadership methods.”
This was her philosophy until a fateful meeting in an airport. Dr. Nicole half overheard, half eavesdropped on a conversation this man was in with someone from his office. He was trying to hold someone accountable for their responsibilities and commitments. After he hung up, Dr. Nicole told him, “Dude, you should just fire everybody. None of those people seem like they’re committed to the work.”
The man laughed and introduced himself. He was Dr. Ian Roberts the author of Radical Empathy in Leadership and the relationship forged in this moment would change Dr. Nicole’s life as well as the course of countless businesses.
Today, Dr. Nicole knows that empathy can and should be taught to even the most dyed-in-the-wool cynics corporate boardrooms have to offer. Her company is responsible for success stories across the country. Through empathy, these organizations have created and retained powerful workforces and boosted their bottom lines.
Dr. Nicole holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Masters in Education from Park University, an Educational Doctorate in Leadership from Capella University, and postdoctoral studies at Stanford University.