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Why Is Empathy Important In Leadership?

Kevin Ortzman talks about the significance of empathy in leadership in further detail.

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In today’s workforce, employees are experiencing a bigger overlap in their professional and personal lives than ever before, and the rise of the remote workforce will only increase this trend in the coming years. The changing, more dynamic business model has led today’s leaders to increase their understanding of practicing empathy in the workplace. Empathy has become a more important part of a leader’s approach, as it can have a profound impact on how a company functions as a whole. 

Empathy refers to one’s ability to understand and relate to another person by looking through their point of view. While you may not have a similar personal experience, you are able to understand where they are coming from, and how it has impacted them. Knowing this about empathy, what makes it such an important part of effective leadership?

Support Employees
At one point in many people’s professional journey, they will likely work in a job where they do not feel supported by their company’s leadership. Examples of what can make employees feel like they are not supported include overloading the amount of work that needs to be done and ignoring an employee’s concerns about a specific work project. Employees who feel supported by their job will be more likely to stay in their position longer than those who do not. 

Supporting employees will become even more important during difficult times like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Employees under higher stress levels may require extra support, especially if they are working from home with a full household. The more support that companies show in difficult times like this, the more likely that they are able to keep talented employees from looking for a new job. 

Build Strong Relationships With Employees
While it is important for companies to understand how to support their employees, it is also significant for members of a leadership team to focus on building strong relationships with employees. Get to know your employees, especially those that may end up working under you directly, as this can improve overall company performance and morale. Once you have built a strong foundation with employees, take the time to connect with them on a regular basis in the future, as this can help to build a trusting relationship. 

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