Empathy is particularly important today as a component of leadership for (at least) three reasons – increasing use of teams, the rapid rate of globalization, and a vital need to retain talent. But empathy doesn’t mean all that “mushy” “I’m okay, you’re ok” type of stuff. Leaders don’t need to adopt other people’s feelings as your own to please everyone. That’s not possible.
BUT, it does mean carefully considering every employees’ feelings (and a few other factors) in the process of making intelligent decisions. Empathy helps to attract and develop top talent. It’s also vitally necessary in keeping top talent.
Coaching and mentoring plays a key role in the development of empathy. Coaching and mentoring increase job performance and job satisfaction. And decreases turnover.
Empathy matters. But only when taken seriously and used intelligently.