Empathetic Leadership: How To Become A Better Leader

Empathetic Leadership: How To Become A Better Leader

August 24, 2022


One of the most important aspects required to lead a team is showing empathy. Yes, leaders and managers  must understand the feelings of their team members or employees. If they show lack of empathy it may  result in conflict and stress. 

Always remember that most people leave their jobs because of the management – their bosses. It  makes sense that a lack of empathy may be behind these resignations. So, you must act before it’s too  late. 

Why is empathetic leadership important? 
Empathy is about attempting to understand how others feel in a certain situation. It is about being able  to position yourself in the shoes of those around you, especially the employees you lead.

Simply put, empathetic leadership means that it’s not all about you. This awareness will allow you to  treat others in a way that motivates them and pushes them to bring out their best. It will also enable  you to determine key concerns around the team, and change a few approaches needed. 

Sure, you might want them to finish a specific project immediately, but if you don’t consider the feelings  of your team members, you may struggle – and worse, not achieve the main goal. So, be considerate and empathetic as much as you can.

Ways to Improve Empathetic Leadership

Luckily, empathy is not a fixed trait. With a bit of practice, you can learn about it properly. You just need to be willing and have patience to listen to your team – and understand where they are coming from.  Yes, anyone can improve their empathy skills with enough time and coaching.

So, get to know everyone. Learn their core roles in the company and determine every part of your  business inside out. Then, utilize that knowledge to recognize your team’s frustrations and opinions. This  will not just benefit productivity, but also position you as a trustworthy leader. 

Here are some strategies that you can use to practice empathetic leadership: 

1. Anticipate your team’s needs
In today’s very busy world, work burnout is a real issue. Actually, it becomes more of a risk  factor during difficult times. For instance, a global pandemic like COVID-19. Hence, it is vital to  recognize when your employees are finding it difficult to look for a work-life balance. Determine  if they are stressed. These are some of the signs that they’re overworked, so watch out.

Once you see these signs, pull on the breaks before it can grow into an even bigger issue. Don’t  set this aside. Instead, check in on all your team members and ask how they are handling their  workload. Help them recover from the stress of overwork. 

2. Extend help
Do you have an employee that faces a personal problem? Then, try to help them out. They are  dealing with their own issues at home while completing their professional obligations, so  support them. Show them that you are open to communicating with them, whether it’s a problem at home or work. Make them feel comfortable when sharing important information to you. 

3. Be authentic
As mentioned earlier, empathy isn’t a fixed trait. But it can’t be forced either. If you’re not  interested in your team and what they’re going through, they will see it. The only way to  show that you care about how they feel is by being authentic. 
You must show sincere interest about the hopes and dreams of those around you. By trying to  recognize those goals, you will be able to know which work assignments match them best. When your team members see that you can recognize their talents, they will be more motivated  and willing to give their best. 

4. Improve your listening skills
Listening is a skill that lots of leaders and managers lack. Actually, many of them hold a  reputation for being bad listeners. So, make a difference. Think bigger than your own story and listen with the intention of understanding other people’s perspective or situation. Yes, suspend  your own opinions, thoughts, and judgments for a while so that you can listen clearly to those in  need. 

Through this, you will be able to recognize that you don’t need to jump at solutions to your  team’s problem. Instead, you will see that your team can work out and come up with solutions  on their own. All you need to do is listen and trust them. 

5. Show compassion
Always show compassion, especially if one of your team members disclose a personal loss to  you. This can help forge real connections between you and your employees. Other than that, it  can also strengthen your bond. All of us have experienced hardship and loss at some point in our
lives, so even if we can’t relate to the type of loss our employee is going through, we can still let  them know that we understand and support them. 

Final Thoughts
When you understand the feelings and situations of your team members better, you will begin to have a  workforce that is empowered to help the business reach its goals. If you want to be a great leader, you  must learn how to be more empathetic – it is a very effective skill. Empathetic leadership will shape you  into an expert that strengthens and maintains relationships, which are both critical for the success of  any business.