Is It Possible to Be a Leader and Have Empathy for Others?

Empathy is a trait that every great leader should have to be effective in their leadership role. Empathy requires self-awareness and without knowing your true self and what you value, you can’t be empathetic toward others.

Leaders who cultivate their emotional intelligence tend to have empathy for others. They don’t judge and are good listeners and totally focus on the person who is speaking and whom they are speaking to.

Great leaders also consider the perspective of others, even though it doesn’t sync with their own. Appreciation of another’s beliefs and an understanding of what they’re going through in their lives is a quality that makes leaders stand out.

When a leader leads with emotional intelligence and the empathy that comes with it, he or she builds trust among those they are leading. The employees or followers have faith that the leader will take his feelings into consideration and trust him to help them succeed.

A leader who cultivates empathy is emotionally intelligent and is able to disconnect from his beliefs and feelings and analyze those of others without letting his own feelings direct the outcome of a situation.

If employees or followers don’t trust their leader to take their feelings into consideration, they won’t trust his ability to help them succeed. When feelings are ignored among the workers, productivity suffers.

When a leader shows empathy it doesn’t mean that he or she is weak. On the contrary, it helps others trust and look up to their leader for guidance. Respect is necessary for any leader to succeed – empathy for others is an important tool to gain that respect.

A leader who shows empathy will also motivate others. When that happens, productivity increases and the morale of the workplace soars. Studies indicate that successful businesses are innovative and non-successful businesses become stagnant.

Research shows that harnessing that ability of a business to grow and remain innovative depends on the leadership and one intangible force – empathy. It’s the force that moves businesses to focus on the future and move forward to success.

It simply doesn’t work when leaders can’t relate to the people they lead. Each decision made for the company must involve true empathy and a logical rationale that comes from leaders with emotional intelligence.

Empathy is also the force behind how a business communicates within and with other businesses. When a business falters and fails, one of the causes is usually that their leaders haven’t focused on understanding the needs of others.

Empathy is a critical skill that all leaders must have to be effective. It comes from developing emotional intelligence and a self-awareness that transforms an ordinary person into a true leader.

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