Empathy Into Action
How 7 Modern Leaders Operationalized The Value of Empathy
Our world could always use more kindness and compassion, especially now as we navigate our pandemic-stricken society. During the COVID-19 crisis, you’ve probably been working “as usual” while facing the stressors of an unstable workforce, escalated health and safety risks, and increased issues with work-life balance. You’ve likely also tackled those challenges while also staying informed about rapidly changing policies about general health, the pandemic, and workplace operations.
Add in an increase in mental health issues, and it’s no surprise why both employees and managers alike need an extra dose of empathy, now more than ever. This isn’t a time for a “tough love” approach to management. Research reveals that, for most employees, social support and understanding are vital ingredients for alleviating stress and adjusting work-life expectations.
If you encourage vulnerability, you’ll likely find that your team will be more creative as a result. Empathy breaks down barriers of fear and makes room for people to speak their minds confidently. However, empathy isn’t an innate skill, even amongst the best leaders. You need to devote time and energy to strengthening your empathy muscle.
We know that being empathetic demands a lot from a leader, so in this article, we’ll walk you through why empathy is essential to leadership and share lessons from modern role models who value empathy.
Why is empathy important to leadership?
Empathy is about more than caring about people in an abstract way. It’s about creating and maintaining relationships built on a foundation of trust. Good leaders know that being empathetic means that you identify with someone else’s experiences. When you actively consider different perspectives, you’re practicing your empathy.
It’s also about knowing that you don’t have the answer to every problem. It’s not about being perfect but about trusting your team to help you find those answers. The more heard and understood your team feels, the more likely they are to work hard at their projects because they want to make you (and themselves) proud. They’ll also be happier overall as employees, and they’ll…