Empathy a Must have Leadership Skill!

The 21st Century Leader’s Must Have
Emotional Intelligence Competency – Empathy

There is this friend of mine who is in a senior leadership position, who came to me the other day completely frustrated! And said “Pavan I just don’t understand my team, they just do not listen to me. I asked him to repeat what he was saying a couple of times before he realised what he was really saying! “Oh I see it clearly now??? he said, “to understand them I need to listen to them and not vice versa.
He then added………???but where is the time????

In my view the reasons as to why empathy is the single most common developmental need (research carried out by LeaderShape,Global found 62% of leaders had this in their top five developmental needs) are:

• Unawareness and unacknowledged presence of workplace stress
• Overload of Information and decision making
• Organisational culture of high power and carrot and the stick reward policies
• The belief that professional and personal behaviours need not align
• It is not a natural ability and needs focus and practice to develop…..but then “where is the time??? syndrome!

The Leadership Emotional Intelligence Performance Accelerator is an assessment tool created by LeaderShape which identifies four granular behaviours which constitutes being empathic. These are:
• Listening attentively to what people are saying
• Demonstrating an awareness of how people are feeling
• Accurately identifying the underlying cause of another person’s perspective.
• Expressing an understanding of another person’s perspective

You must be thinking so it is a GOOD to have skill but not a MUST to have skill? How does it improve business results?

How does being empathetic improve business results? Simply because:

• Empathetic people are superb at recognizing & meeting the needs of their clients, customers and subordinates. They are approachable and respond on the mark.
• Empathy is the key to retaining talent.
• It create a free and open environment for communication thereby achieving greater awareness of the problem in hand and taking immediate remedial measures and mitigate risks
• Employee build a sense of trust towards their leaders. This helps leaders to strengthen relationships which leads to greater collaboration and higher productivity.

Do we NOW agree “Empathy is hence not a good to have skill but a must to have leadership competency???

• “If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words???- Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
• “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care???-   Theodore Roosevelt???

To know more about Empathy and Leadership please click on: 

Emotional Intelligent Leadership

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