So, we all know that empathy is important, right?
Most of us have experienced how it feels to receive the empathy of a supportive friend, mentor, or colleague. In contrast, we also know how it feels when it’s absent.
And we can easily see when someone shows empathy – and we admire this as a key Leadership quality in others.
So how does Empathy enable the best leaders to maximise their own and others’ performance?
Let’s start with defining what is empathy.
The term empathy is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.
In the context of business, work and leadership, it could be defined as:
- considering others’ feelings, especially when making decisions
- ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people
- skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
Important: It is NOT adopting other people’s emotions as your own.
It is not people pleasing.
It is not going down the river of misery with someone, nor sitting in a hole of despair together.
Empathy IS thoughtfully considering others’ feelings in the process of communicating and making decisions.
It is acknowledging fears and concerns.
It is being sensitive to diversity.
It is being adept at working globally.
Empathy is also important in attracting, building and retaining talent – including the ability to develop others. This improves your company culture, performance and bottom line.
How do you become an empathy expert?
Get a coach!
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