On the other hand, some exceptional organizations have learned that emphasizing the quality of empathy and leading from the sidelines is a highly effective style of leadership. Yes, there are still times when leaders must make command decisions to keep the business on course. But these leaders know they get the best performance from their team when they empower them to use their unique talents to achieve outstanding results.
How important is empathy to empowering leadership?
Without empathy, it’s impossible to empower others, because empathy is the quality that allows you to see others clearly. Here are seven reasons why displaying empathy is so important for people in leadership positions…
- It gets the focus off of self and onto others.
- It helps you prioritize the well-being of your team, so you look for ways to daily practice kindness and consideration.
- It makes you realize success hinges on your team, so you create a favorable work environment for them.
- It helps you work harder at explaining your vision and showing your team how they fit into it.
- It moves you to supply others with whatever they require to work at their best capacity.
- Problems are addressed with concern, not censure. Rather than leaping to punitive actions, the simple question, “Is everything okay?” helps a leader identify the source of a problem, so it can be fixed.
- It promotes team building.
I like how Simon Sinek explains empathic and empowering leadership in a recent Success article, “True leadership isn’t the bastion of a few who sit at the top. It’s the responsibility of anyone who belongs to a group, and that means all of us. We all need to step up, take the risk and put our interests second—not always—but when it counts.”
Learning to empathically lead others is a skill you can use in business, in your community and even within your family life. If you’d like to master this skill, I’d love to work with you in person at my office in Portland, OR. Please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online education if that works best for your busy schedule.