Empathetic Leader

As the year draws to a close, it’s an opportune time for leaders to take a moment to pause and consider what they would like to manifest in 2024. What hopes do you have for your workplace? How do you want to influence the space and people around you? What would you like your team or business to accomplish? 

I also invite you to consider the role that empathy may play in helping you achieve the desired state. Over the course of the past year, I’ve shared posts about the impact of emotional intelligence (EQ) in leadership and why it is vital for today’s workforce. To close out 2023, I hope you’ll take some time to engage in a reflection activity to visualize the positive impact that compassion could have in your organization. Think of this reflection as a way to plant the seeds that you would like to see sprout next year. 


7 Questions to Shape Your Perspective

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#1 – What will empathy do for you?

EQ has an inspiring effect on so many elements of business and individual well-being. Employees on the receiving end tend to increase productivity and decrease turnover, while the person exercising compassion often experiences decreased stress and better emotional regulation. When you have made an effort to appreciate the perspectives of others, what impact has this practice had on your life? What could empathy do for you when applied with intentionality? 


#2 – What does empathetic leadership look like in your day-to-day? 

To infuse your approach with understanding, it’s helpful to imagine what it will look like on a daily basis. Consider what behaviors and actions you will take or what you might say differently to demonstrate concern for others and openness for their ideas. This blog post can also provide you with a few ideas. 


#3 – What does emotional intelligence feel like? 

In addition to imagining the functional ways empathy may show up in your leadership, reflect on how it can make you feel personally. Showing kindness and curiosity often benefits the giver as much as the receiver. What emotions or mindset shifts might you experience with a more caring and thoughtful approach?  

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#4 – What will be different in your conversations with direct reports? 

When leaders are understanding and open to the perspectives of others, it often allows for more honest and brave conversations within a team because psychological safety is pervasive. Imagine the feedback and brilliant ideas that may be unlocked simply by receiving ideas, thoughts and inputs with an open mind. 

People Connection#5 – What will change within your team dynamics? 

Leaders who show compassion to their colleagues and direct reports can change the ways that teams operate, building stronger relationships and driving innovation by welcoming the diverse points of view that others bring. What changes might occur within the departments and groups you work with? 

Dart#6 – What impact could EQ have on the organization as a whole? 

I believe that empathetic leaders raise empathetic leaders. By modeling the way and showing powerful results can be realized when executives and managers are more understanding, the whole workplace can be a happier, more productive place. Consider the possibilities and culture shifts that you could inspire through emotional intelligence. 


#7 – What might it do outside of the business? 

The impact of understanding does not stop inside the walls (or virtual networks) of the workplace. Leading with empathy can also permeate other aspects of your world and the people you interact with. Reflect on the changes you might see among your friends, family or community at large by adopting a caring perspective. 

These are big questions, so I do encourage you to spend time reflecting on each of them and giving careful attention to your responses. What you imagine has the potential to positively influence your next week, month, year and beyond! 

Once the future state has taken shape in your mind, it’s important to find a way to keep the concept top of mind. Regularly reminding yourself of the practices you want to instill and the impact they will have increases the likelihood that you will integrate EQ further into your leadership. 

As a few ideas, try WIP-ing it: 

  • Written notes – Jot down your answers on a piece of paper and make a commitment to revisit them periodically throughout the next year.  
  • Imagery – Design a vision board and post it in your office or save a picture of it as your phone or laptop background. 
  • Phrases – Identify a few words or a word of the year that sums up your responses and place it somewhere where you will see it every day. 

By keeping empathetic leadership front and center in your mind, you have a better opportunity to practice EQ in times of ease and challenge in the new year. When we as leaders commit to guiding our people with compassion and curiosity, I truly believe that there is no limit to what we and our team members can achieve.  

May 2024 be your best year yet! 

Interested in learning more about how Emergenetics can enhance your leadership practices? Explore our website or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today!  


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