As a leader, it’s likely that a can-do, never-give-up attitude helped drive your success. It’s possible that a soft skill like empathy, which should be considered an essential skill in leadership, wasn’t ever on your radar. But empathy can have powerful results – for you, your employees and your business.
It’s all about perspective
To be empathetic, you need to go beyond caring for others – that’s what we call sympathy.
Empathy is the ability to experience the feelings of others and to see the situation from their perspective. And it’s a cornerstone of building trust among your team.
When it comes down to it, empathy is all about perspective.
A good way to tap into your empathetic side is to realize that not everyone shares your perspective. In any given situation, how the facts are interpreted and what’s deemed important can vary among your team.
Why empathy is important in business
When empathy is missing from your leadership equation, it can affect your business in ways you didn’t imagine.
Here’s a look at how empathy can either help or hinder in your business:
- Engagement and productivity: When employees are appreciated and valued for their work, they tend to try harder and give discretionary effort.
On the other hand, disengaged employees can create roadblocks and stop caring about their work. There’s more absenteeism, which can result in resentment from others who have to pick up the slack.