Leading with empathy in the workplace can be a challenge. You’re juggling numerous demands and trying to maintain a sense of calm amidst the storm. However, research suggests that empathy is a key leadership trait. In fact, one study found that empathy was the strongest predictor of job performance for leaders.
So, how can you lead with empathy in the workplace? Here are some tips:
1. Seek to Understand Before Being Understood
When someone comes to you with a problem, take the time to really listen and understand their perspective. This can be difficult in the midst of a busy workday, but it’s important to try to see things from their point of view.
2. Put Yourself in their Shoes
Empathy is about trying to understand how someone else is feeling. So, when you’re dealing with a difficult situation at work, try to imagine how the other person is feeling. This can help you respond in a way that is more understanding and helpful.
3. Communicate with Care
The way you communicate with others can either help or hinder your efforts to show empathy. When you’re talking to someone, use a calm and caring tone of voice. Avoid coming across as judgmental or condescending.
“One of the best approaches to managing people is to lead with empathy,” says Ryan Azimi, Director of International Development of ETIAS.
“When you can see things from the other person’s perspective and understand how they’re feeling, it’s much easier to find a resolution that works for everyone.”
A caring tone in communication can break down walls and help build trust. Try to think about the way you typically sound when you’re communicating with others. If you tend to come across as harsh or unapproachable, try to soften your tone a bit.
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