When we were kids, we were taught that empathy is like walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Whether this phrase stuck with you over the years, there is no doubt that empathy has an important place in the world of leadership. In fact, leaders today are using empathy as a tool to help them become the best leaders that they can be.
A New Way to Understand Others
The biggest flaw of a lot of leaders is that they do not understand those who are on their team. Empaths pride themselves on being able to understand other people. Empaths are able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and see their perspective on the topic. This makes for a great leader because instead of getting in disagreements with team members over varying opinions, the empathetic leader is anticipating these disagreements and facilitating a safe environment for constructive conversations rather than disagreements.
In addition to having more successful communication, empaths are also able to build stronger relationships with team members than non-empaths. This is because their ability to take the perspective of the team member creates a trusting relationship that will benefit both parties.
A Coaching Mindset
Since an empathetic leader has the ability to see different perspectives, they are able to efficiently analyze a team’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows the leader to create a powerful team that is all united to tackle the same common goal. It is important to note that the leader doesn’t hold all the control here. The team members will frequently find themselves coaching the leader too!
An Inclusive Environment
When the leader is seeing everything from a team member’s perspectives, an inclusive environment will naturally form. This newfound awareness will mean that there is less of a chance that individuals will feel excluded. It is up to the leader to recognize when they may have missed a perspective and offer solutions to any problems that resulted because of this.
Reactivity can be detrimental to a team’s success. When a leader is acting out of empathy, they are taking time to think before they act or react. This is something that team members will recognize and hopefully pick up on as well.