• James Walton

2 Tips for Increasing Leadership Empathy

Empathy is that rare quality of being able to feel along with another, to put yourself in their emotional position and experience the situation from their perspective.

Here's two ways to cultivate this quality in your work-life:

  • Communicate decisions clearly and carefully. Often, when decisions are made, it's the culmination of significant time of the leader's thought and reflection. For everyone else, it's the first time they've heard it. Where appropriate, communicate the rationale behind the decision along with the decision.

  • When faced with something you don't understand, ask questions. Smart people don't do stupid things (from your perspective) for no reason, so try to figure out why they are the way they are. Listen for what they're trying to do, even if you don't agree with it.

Organizations benefit from human-centered leaders who understand their people and communicate with them as people.


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