Covid-19 has enabled leaders to become more empathic, creating an engaged and committed workforce as a result. Organisations regard empathy as a highly valued leadership trait. As we will discuss below, the best empathetic leaders drive innovation at work. Through regular communication, listening to the concerns of your team members, and taking decisive action based on what you hear, you as a compassionate leader can demonstrate that you care about what your team members faced during the pandemic. Leadership of this nature is essential for your team members to bring their whole selves to work, unleashing greater creativity and flexibility.
Leaders who possess strong emotional intelligence enable individual team members to cope with their unique challenges. One example of this is Gravity, an electronic payments company. When the CEO learned that one of his employees needed a second job to survive the pandemic, he decided to take a pay cut and set a minimum wage. As a result, the company made significant productivity, creativity, and collaboration gains. This implies that the best empathetic leaders drive innovation at work.
How can you cultivate empathy and drive innovation in the new era of work?The first is cognitive empathy, which encompasses conversations about team members’ unique experiences and responsibilities outside the workplace. The second is affective empathy, which involves feeling the same emotions as others by giving team members a space without interruptions to explain. Finally, behavioural empathy involves demonstrating active listening skills by paying attention to facial expressions and body language. Empathetic leadership has implications for everyday interactions that lead to success or failure. In conclusion, leading with a sense of being understood and valued requires balancing cognitive and affective empathy.
Ways to boost cognitive empathy skills while controlling affective empathy skills
- Dealing with your own emotions first before listening to the difficulties of others.
- If team members pause while communicating, you must not relate to their own experiences.
- Listening actively, validating the other person’s experience.
- After listening, you as leaders must evaluate the different ways in which you can help.
- Always focusing on the issue at hand rather than the emotions associated with it.
- Move past initial judgements and understand why a team member is doing or acting a certain way.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt without the assumption of guilt and holding them accountable.
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Empathetic leadership can be challenging with ever-changing business challenges and changing customer and employee needs. VeiraMal Consulting implements management practices that improve the performance of leadership teams.
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The information contained in this blog is general in nature. If you are unsure how this information applies to you, please contact us at VeiraMal Consulting. Our HR Consultants will be happy to guide you through this.