Most of us recognize empathy as a trait that defines humanity, but in business, it is one quality that sets effective leaders apart from ineffective ones. Having, and more essentially, channeling – compassion is crucial for solving a variety of different leadership issues. While empathy is essential for managing organizational change, it is essential for daily people management.
Three key ways to quickly build empathy:
When looking at which characteristics empathetic leaders share, there are various traits and approaches that keep cropping up. Three of the most essential ones you can begin honing today are:
Have a vision and know-how to communicate it
No one can succeed without having a vision, and no organization can succeed without having shared goals to work towards. But it is not enough to have a clear concept; you must also be able to convey your mission and goals to your employees. Without being able to communicate your vision, how can you expect to inspire people, or allow them to find value and meaning in their roles?
Transparent communication is the basis of understanding – but this must even extend to every member of your team, not just the senior tea. Empathic leaders must make sure workers feel safe voicing doubts or concerns without judgment and building a feedback culture is just one helpful outcome of empathic leadership.
Consider other people’s perceptions, not just your own views
Compassionate leaders understand that there is not just one viewpoint to a problem, and rarely is there only one solution, either. To build empathy into your everyday leadership, make it a point to seek out other people’s thoughts and beliefs about topics you have existing opinions on. Try to be accepting of the idea that your choice might not be the best, and open your mind to other perspectives. Crucially, always be aware of decision making bias and check your own views and behavior often.
Listen more and care more
You can’t be an empathic leader without listening and investing in your team. No matter how much senior you are, no matter if you single-handedly built your company and employed each and every person in it, an organization is not autocracy, and employees would not obediently follow you if they receive nothing in return. Take the time to invest in the people who work for you, and don’t just go through the motions with lame yet requisite team-building exercises, people can spot these a mile off!
Related : 7 Innovative Team Building Skills
Instead, put time aside to get to know your employees as individuals – scheduled and without distractions. Be curious about their experiences, their aspirations, their development goals, and ask them for feedback. Most crucially, listen carefully to their answers. As a rule, remember that for empathic leadership, listening is infinitely more important than talking.
Related : 7 Excellent Decision Making Techniques
(The images used in the post are extracted from unsplash.com)