Leadership and Empathy

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While learning about Emotional Intelligence, many people find it difficult to understand why empathy is an important competency for leadership. Some people proudly proclaim that they don’t have much empathy, while others roll their eyes about this “warm and fuzzy” virtue.

But what people fail to realize is that when we show lack of empathy in our daily lives, it serves as a roadblock not only to our relationships but also to our coaching abilities.

Empathy is the ability to read other people and see things from their perspective.

It involves tuning into body language, facial expression, posture and tone. When we show empathy we “hear” the whole message both verbally and non-verbally. We work to understand rather than projecting our own interpretation of reality on them.

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Give the Gift of Listening

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Listening enables us as leaders and mangers to value our employees. It helps people get the most out of meetings and conversations. True listening promotes cooperation. It assumes the other person has worth, dignity and something to offer.

Some benefits to increasing your listening include: building cohesive teams of people, developing individuals to be better contributors, making solid decisions, knowing how to connect with others and creating an atmosphere of reduced stress. When people reflect on their best boss a frequent response is that the person was a great listener. Listening is a gift that aids us in both personal and professional growth.

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