Most of us were taught that leadership is all about authority and assuming control.
It seems, however, that employees don’t particularly thrive in rigidly structured environments. In fact, research indicates that one of the essential leadership skills, yet one that is all too often marginalized, is empathy.
Authority and empathy do not exclude one another. It’s just that traditional leadership tipped the scale in favour of authority, and it’s time to regain balance.
Here are reasons why you should start fostering empathy if you want to become an inspiring leader:
Enhancing Understanding of Others
The ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others helps us understand them on a deeper level.
We can recognize our employee’s fears, strengths, and weaknesses and make better decisions about assigning the workload.
Understanding goes even further than that. If we can grasp what makes our employees tick, we’ll know just how we can motivate and invigorate them!
Building Trust and Loyalty
When we’re having a bad day, most of us yearn for a heart-to-heart talk with our best friend. We know they’ll make us feel better just by listening. And we’ll readily return the favour.
You can create the same bond with your employees by displaying empathy. When we take time to listen to others, we create a positive atmosphere built on trust and loyalty. Before you know it, your employees will start working hard on developing your company. No promotions or raises needed!
Imagine walking out of a meeting with an endless list of the most badass ideas you’ve ever heard, all contributed by your employees.
Seems too good to be true?
Only it doesn’t have to be. If we replace harsh words with constructive criticism, we communicate to others that it’s safe to be uninhibited and creative. Create an encouraging atmosphere, and innovative ideas will start pouring in!
Increasing Chances of Winning
Not having our most basic needs met causes a lot of stress and steals our ambition.
Just imagine how it feels working on an empty stomach or while worrying about whether you’ll manage to pay your bills this month. It couldn’t feel very encouraging, right?
If you tend to your employee’s needs, such as creating a supportive environment or paying a decent salary, they’ll magically start bringing in better results. Remember, helping your employees means helping yourself.