Why empathy is now the most important leadership skill
COVID has shaken expectations of what it means to lead…it’s never been clearer it pays to care.*
The heart of caring is empathy.
As we emerge from the pandemic, empathy is the most important leadership skill. It’s the bedrock of positive work relationships.
The core of empathy is wanting to understand another person, taking the time to ask questions of others, genuinely showing an interest in their response, and using that information to inform your future interactions. It relies on core leadership behaviours such as listening, asking questions and encouraging dialogue.
Done well, it feels like the person you are talking to really ‘gets you’; like they’ve tuned in to you.
Done badly, you smell the lack of authenticity a mile off….
…And when real empathy is missing it’s a building block for negative relationships and a lack of trust.
Empathy relies on self-awareness and knowing the impact you have on others. At its best it is flexing your style to match what somebody else needs, not what you think they need!
This sense of feeling understood and heard is important to people in their workplace, particularly with someone they see as a leader. They want their leader to care about them.
Taking the time to understand what your people are thinking, what they are feeling, and their current experience, expresses a degree of caring which others feel. They start to care about you and you build a mutuality in the relationship that can be pivotal.
Is your leadership development equipping your leaders with the critical skills like empathy that they need to build positive working relationships?
If you would like to explore how we can help you accelerate positive leadership relationships, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org