Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research - Corwin Harper

Image from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/09/19/empathy-is-the-most-important-leadership-skill-according-to-research/?sh=1aa7dcc13dc5

Whether it’s because of the pandemic or work-related events or other personal experiences, individuals are experiencing higher levels of stress. According to a global study by Qualtrics, “67% of people are experiencing increases in stress while 57% have increased anxiety, and 54% are emotionally exhausted.” Because of this decline in mental health and the negative impacts it can have, empathy has taken on a whole new level of priority for leaders. I recently read an insightful article by Forbes titled, “Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research” that highlights the increasing significance of empathy in the workplace.

We all have been stressed before in our lives and we know the feeling — we are a more irritable, anxious version of ourselves and we struggle to think and concentrate. When stressed employees experience rudeness in their workplace, this negativity spills over into their personal lives, specifically with their partners and children. This article outlines some other negative effects workplace incivility can cause: reduced performance and collaboration, deteriorating customer experiences, and increased turnover. Stress is like a domino effect and the negative consequences carry over into other aspects of your life and impacts those around you as well. Based on the research provided by the article, it is evident that stress and its impacts are harmful to workplace productivity and culture.

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but empathy is a powerful tool that can help foster positive experiences for individuals and teams. The article cites various studies that have proven the positive outcomes of empathy. In the study, people who reported their leaders were empathetic, faced higher levels of innovation, engagement, retention, inclusivity, and a more balanced work-life. By introducing empathy into decision-making, it improves cooperation and encourages people to also be more empathetic. Similar to the way stress can have a domino effect on the workplace, so can empathy — but this time in a positive way!

“As the popular saying goes, people may not remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.” It is one thing for a leader to show their empathy by their words, but what matters most is their actions. “People will trust their leaders and feel a greater sense of engagement and commitment when there is alignment between what the leader says and does.” While a leader does not have to be an expert in mental health, they can offer help in different ways such as appreciating a person’s point of view, engaging in healthy debate, or considering a teammate’s perspective and making new suggestions to achieve a greater team goal. Leaders who lead with empathy and act based on these concerns will see the most success in their workplace.

While empathy may not be a new concept in business leadership, it is something that every leader needs to consider with high significance. Leading with empathy helps enhance positive relationships and organizational cultures, and therefore drives results.

Read the original article here.

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