L is for Leading with Empathy in the Workplace

L is for Leading with Empathy in the Workplace

As a leader, it is important to consistently hone your skills to be the most effective leader you can be. Many important skills are needed for leadership. And empathy is one of the most important skills you can have. Empathy may seem less important than organizational and delegation skills. But when it comes to leading and fostering growth with employees, empathy is a true winner.

Empathy is defined as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.” Empathy is essential in the workplace to help foster good relationships between bosses and employees. A leader that shows empathy to their workers tends to have happier and more loyal employees. Likewise, employees who feel understood and valued as people rather than just worker bees tend to be happier and better because they care about their job. And this can lead to better productivity and more success within a business.

How to Lead with Empathy

Empathy is generally something that is innately within us. For example, most children start feeling empathy by the time they are toddlers. And women tend to be more empathetic than men. But most people are empathetic to a certain degree, and it varies between everyone. Empathy can be learned and practiced as well.

Below are a few ways you can practice empathy in the workplace:

Listen to Employees. Listening to others is one of the best ways to practice empathy. Getting to know your employees by listening to their ideas and interests not only fosters a positive work environment, but you will get to know your employees as people.

Consider Different Perspectives. Just like listening, putting yourself in others’ shoes is a great way to practice empathy. Experiencing how your employees may feel will give you a perspective that many leaders overlook.

Invest in Education. Education is a life long process. Read some books, take a class, or talk to a therapist to help practice empathy. While we are all born with varying levels of empathy, learning more about it and how to practice can improve your skills significantly.

When empathetic leaders sharpen their empathetic leadership skills, they improve their effectiveness and become stronger and more successful leaders. Practicing empathy towards yourself and others, combined with other leadership skills, leads to effective and thriving businesses and leaders.

Answers from AZ.


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