The Power of Empathy as a Leader

While empathy may be considered a soft skill, at its core, empathy is a valued skill that everyone should strive for. Not only that, but as a leader in the workplace, it can be important to empathize with your employees. Empathy is defined as the understanding, being aware of the thoughts and experiences of others. An empathetic leader is one that can understand different points of view in the workplace and respect opinions; however, they may be contrary to yours. Empathetic leadership tries to show the best of the employee, but with respect for his abilities and limits.

To fully understand your employees, you must step into their shoes. Empathetic leadership not only benefits you as a leader, but boosts employee and company morale as a whole. 

Simply put, empathetic leadership means being aware of people’s feelings and thoughts, understanding their needs, providing appropriate support, and understanding how they handle situations and trying to improve or respond to them.

Empathic Leadership

Empathic leadership is a leadership style that focuses on connecting with those around you. When you implement empathic leadership, you understand and become more aware of the experiences of your co-workers either past or present. By having an understanding of their situation, you will begin to understand how that affects their work life. Rather than assuming and confronting them from an aggressive position, you can connect and work with them on the problem at hand. Empathetic leadership is important because individuals feel valuable, thus creating a positive environment. 

Empathetic Work Environment 

How does empathy differ from sympathy? Empathy truly allows you to understand what they are going through and connect with them on a deeper level. Allowing space for empathy creates a safe zone between you and your employees. Empathetic leaders have shown to have better job performers than leaders who don’t practice empathy with their employees. Empathy also improves company culture.

On another side, when making decisions, it is empathetic to think of how this decision will affect your employees. When their opinions are considered, they will feel valued.   

How To Be Empathetic In The Workplace

How does one create an environment for empathy to thrive? To begin, when a peer is speaking to you, be intentionally present. You are intentionally present when you eliminate distractions and are actively listening.

Some ways to show that you are listening can include nonverbal communication. This includes being slow to speak and not interrupting while they are talking, through body language such as nodding along and making eye contact. Another way to show empathy is to share about similar experiences that can allow you to relate to them. However, it is important to not come across as fully understanding their situation.

Empathy is important as a leader, but is also a beneficial skill to have for those who may not be in a leadership position. When a leader creates an empathic environment, it trickles throughout your entire organization and unites your team from the ground up.

Go More In Depth

Go more in depth on how to be an empathetic leader and what it can look like in your workplace.

There are many positive benefits that come from expressing empathy, an practicing empathy in the workplace is a soft skill that we all can strive for.

At Converge we want to help accelerate your company’s growth! We provide a variety of resources to help your company to succeed. These tools include professional coaching, training and development, and workshops.

One way to accelerate your company’s growth is through expressing empathy in the workplace. We can help you with that! Reach out today and schedule a discovery call to see how we can assist in accelerating your company’s growth by investing in individuals.