The Most Underrated Skill for Managers? Empathy.

One of the hallmarks of a successful manager is to harness the strengths of their team to create growth and innovation; without it, business won’t keep up with the market and may eventually fail. One often unmentioned skill successful managers use constantly is empathy. It is a basic understanding of both emotion and logic that goes into someone’s decision making. The ability to connect with and relate to their staff is key for managers to understand their employees and help business run smoothly.

I have been fortunate to learn the power of empathy early in my career from my mentor and COO, Adele Burnes. Together we run everything operations at our startup, YouNoodle. Adele has taught me that to break down barriers to you need to use empathy to understand emotion, motive, and value. Rather than pulling the manager card and only providing direction for tasks, we sit down together to gauge how we feel about a process and talk about what steps we can implement to improve results. Through empathetic leadership, Adele and I have been able to learn each other’s thought process and achieve goals faster.

Empathy is one of the most important skills in a manager’s toolbox and with continuous implementation empathy can keep your business moving forward and your staff engaged.