Raise them up!

Empathic leadership and clarity in what to do

In the blue zone we see the possibility of creating a future better than today – in short, we seek success.  In the red zone we cannot see beyond the problems of the now and the recent (or not so recent) past and we want to avoid repeating them – in short, we strive to avoid failure.


To be fully self-motivated we need to be operating in the blue zone.  If we want someone who is dependent on us – a student, a member of our team - to be self-motivated then it is incumbent upon us, at the very least, not to trigger their red zone.  At our best we want to be lifting them up into the blue zone.  People move into the blue zone when they feel safe, valued, listened to, when what they need to do next is clear.  In short, people respond to empathic leadership and role (or task) clarity.

This means that when we engage with those who are dependent on us in some way (and as leaders that is pretty well everyone) we must strive to be in the blue zone and to continue to behave in ways that encourage the blue zone in others – listen fully without judgement or comparison and, despite what they might say or do, respond with their wellbeing in mind.

Leadership in the modern world means operating in the blue zone.  The more we can do this, the better we can become as leaders.



John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.  Earlier blogs can be found here.

John Corrigan