Emotional Intelligence Series: Empathy
I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately. It seems to be a recurrent theme in everything I’ve been speaking on, from psychological safety to resolving high conflict to emotional intelligence for leaders.
While the definition of empathy is simple - to understand and share the feelings of another. The implications of having – or not having – empathy can be complex.
According to a 2021 article from Forbes, empathy is the most essential leadership skill. Research shows that empathy can decrease stress and the negative effects of stress. Empathy can also contribute to the positive outcomes of innovation, engagement, retention and inclusivity.
How can put empathy into practice? Ask those you lead questions, then practice active listening. Ask questions like “What are you thinking right now?” , “What are you feeling?” “ Tell me more about…” and “What are you seeing that I am not seeing?”.
Reflection Question: What actions will I take to get more in tune with the thoughts and feelings of those I lead?
Topic Next Month: Trauma-Informed Empathy
(The LEAdeRNship blog will be taking a break during the month of August to spend time with family and friends on vacation.)