Empathy means being able to consider and understand others’ needs. It means that you are conscious of their emotions and how they influence their thinking. Being empathic means that you are capable of, and willing to, understand what the other individual is going through. The importance of empathy in leaders is one of the biggest challenges a leader faces.
Lack of empathy in leaders often means that they fail tremendously at understanding their team members and hence, it creates a suffocating environment in the organization where the employees feel like they’re stuck without a space that can make them comfortable or give them flexibility.
In order to lead a prosperous and successful company, it’s important for the head to learn empathy. Following are some reasons that discuss the importance of empathy in leaders.:
1- Empathy creates a productive team:
Empathy creates bonds between team members; it makes the team stronger, loyal, and productive. The team becomes more active and efficient when they feel like they are understood, appreciated, respected, and cared for. The workers put in more effort when leadership displays empathy because they know that if something goes wrong, the leader will be there to back them up and provide proper support.
2- Teaches presence:
Empathy means listening attentively, without getting distracted; putting your full focus on the person in front of you. As a leader, you are present not to advise or fix or answer, but simply to listen, understand, assess, and support; this means putting others ahead of yourself. Being present means helping others to have their moment, this also helps us to become more patient. In such a competitive environment, it can be difficult to be this empathic, but if you want to get the best out of your squad, this is a crucial step.
3- Increases happiness:
Everyone receives an advantage when their staff is satisfied. Not only do they become more effective, but it also becomes possible to transmit positive energy to others such as colleagues and clients. It’s important to maintain a good environment in your workplace that allows spreading positivity and happiness.
4- Fosters innovation & collaboration:
Employees are more likely to express their opinions when they feel like their voices are being heard and you have an interest in what they have to say. In addition to their efficiency, empathy can increase creative solutions leading to a rise in the productivity of everyone within the entire organization. Kindness and empathy contribute to a more collaborative workplace where people try to understand each other and work together because that’s what they see as being practiced by their leader.
Lack of empathy in a leader can end up leading to different types of problems in the team, creating a toxic work environment. Hence, as a leader, you need to prioritize being more empathic with your employees for better individual and organizational growth.