Successful organizations are the results of successful leadership. With the world welcoming Gen Z (the most sensitive generation) to the marketplace, leadership trends are inclining towards employee sentiments more than ever. Different organizations have flourished under different leadership styles, but research shows that certain leadership elements can be beneficial for any type of organization.
An article from Forbes intensively focuses on ‘Empathy’ as a leadership skill, and it deems it to be one of the most powerful elements. Empathetic approaches have shown enhancement in not just employee relations but also innovation and organizational performance. When leaders are in affinity with the circumstances of subordinates, and address them with positive intent, the employees tend to enhance their mental health, their personal lives, and ultimately their performance at the organization. This is a significant leap, especially in the post-pandemic era as a global study by Qualtrics found 42% of people have experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic.
To build an empathetic culture in an organization, a leader can apply different techniques to understand their team better. The same article by Forbes focuses on three approaches that can assist leaders in augmenting their fellowship with team members.
Approach 1: Ask yourself, “If I were in his/her position, what would I be thinking right now?” This helps in understanding the other person’s thoughts through cognitive empathy.
Approach 2: Ask yourself, “Being in his/her position would make me feel ___.” This helps in understanding the other person’s thoughts through emotional empathy.
Approach 3: Follow approaches 1 and 2 and back it up with direct communication regarding their challenges, expressing genuine concern, and listening to them mindfully.
Empathy is a trait that requires awakening in the current business scenario. It can be emotionally challenging to take in the circumstances and feelings of your team members. So, how to build resilience?
One of the most pivotal approaches is self-care. How can we genuinely take care of others, when we do not know how to take care of ourselves? Different research shows the positive impact self-care has on our personal and professional life. An article focuses on different practices that fuel greatness in leaders. Most of these practices deal with awareness and tools for self-care. Leaders can be more vigorous if they have a well-established morning routine. A routine that is filled with conscious activities that allow people to spend more time with themselves. The article included a statement by Gina Lavery, Gina Lavery Inc. It said, “Begin each day with a morning routine that sets you up for success. Your morning routine might include meditation, exercise, or gratitude practice. By taking care of yourself first, you will be able to contribute to others, navigate difficult situations effectively and increase your ability to lead and listen. It’s best if you finish your routine before you turn on your phone and computer.” Other featured quotes and statements of different leaders include starting your day offline, taking time to connect to yourself, prioritizing habits of gratitude, leading with energy, and embracing relentless learning. All of these habits build clarity, calmness, and vigor in individuals.
Leading with empathy in the post-pandemic world is a necessity in the corporate world. The process of building resilience and empathetic capacity can be tricky as leaders are also humans with limited energy and emotions. Habits are linked to leadership skills and, ultimately, organizational performance. A new generation is entering the market and with the world moving on from the traumas of the pandemic, empathetic leadership can be a crucial approach that sprouts kindness in the workplace, and with self-care, it is only bound to get better with time.