“A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.”
– Daniel Goleman
One of the many leadership traits that executives should practice is empathy. According to Ryan Makris in his article in Business First Magazine, “A leader must genuinely want to make a difference and develop staff to grow, yet many leaders are purely in the control game.”
What is Empathy and Why is it Considered an Important Leadership Skill?
Generally, empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. And because communication has become easier today, empathy plays an important role not only in the social setting but also in the corporate setting.
A lot of business operations require not only technical and manpower support but also emotional guidance. This is where empathy comes into play. Empathy is what CEO’s and executives need to ensure staff are engaged, collaborative and performing at their best. In fact, many leaders have agreed that an empathic leader is able to effectively encourage and support employees to become more productive, which will in turn benefit the company.
Not Everyone has Empathy
Unfortunately, not all CEO’s and executives know how to empathise. Many are still focused in controlling their staff to do what they think is best for the company without thinking about the welfare of their employees and without caring about how their decisions will benefit others.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the percentage of US employers offering empathy training for managers has increased in the last 10 years. And those that have offered this training have generated more earnings and net income.
How Empathy Helps CEO’s and Leaders
- Empathy creates an emotional impact on employees that correlates to growth, productivity and earnings per employee.
- Empathy allows leaders to emotionally influence staff to develop and improve their selves.
- Empathy helps leaders to inspire their team to do and be their best.
- Empathy helps leaders to create a collaborative team where members care for and support each other.
Empathy is a leadership skill that should be developed in all aspects of the business. It is a choice that every leader needs to make in order to help the business grow and develop.