Do you know the difference between sympathy and empathy? Were you aware that most job seekers or soon to be job seekers are looking to work for a culture built around kindness and empathy? Empathy is a powerful tool that can be used inside and outside of the workplace but having it within your skillset as an organization’s leader will make you a leader that others look up to and inspire to be. If you’re looking to work your way up to management, something that will set you apart from many other individuals is learning how to be an empathetic leader. Read on below to learn more about being empathetic and how to utilize this skill in management.
Benefits of Empathy:
There are many benefits of being an empathic manager, but here are a few on how it can effectively lead a team and build a culture based on kindness:
- Empathy will connect you to your team and peers: being able to connect with others is the first step in building a foundation of trust in the workplace. Having the ability to connect with your team is a strong management skill that will only lead to more success. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with every person on your team, but finding the ability to listen and understand will go a long way.
- Empathy can decrease conflict: when people focus on understanding another’s point of view and giving them the floor to talk, this can level out a playing field of competitiveness or barging over how people may feel or think about situations in different ways. Effective management is able to listen and handle conflict efficiently while also acknowledging the different viewpoints people could have on projects, team dynamics, and workplace rules and regulations.
Building a Culture Based on Kindness
Management are employers’ leaders, and leaders can make or break a company. When management is effectively leading and maintaining ways of building a workplace on kindness, your staff will be happy, and you will retain happy employees who aspire to be the next leaders.
When you’re using empathy in the workplace, and building a culture of kindness, you should focus on opportunities to give back to the community or sharing stories of staff who may be spending their free time giving back, or volunteering. Regardless of if staff is volunteering outside of the workplace, finding ways to showcase staff members and show them off on a deeper level to other staff, will show team morale and give acknowledgement to those who may not always feel recognized in their work.
Another way to focus on showing empathy and kindness is by simply smiling and complimenting your team. So often we see people get swept up into work, resulting in absent emotions or even compliments. Finding ways to compliment your team and taking notice of the small efforts they contribute daily is an easy and effective way to connect and show appreciation to your team.
Empathy can be your greatest strength in the workplace. If you’re currently using empathy in your management role, then congrats! If you are still working on showing empathy to your peers or practicing in your day-to-day life, start with a baseline of gratitude for your own life, and practice being an active listener in conversations with friends and family. Once you have a skillset of being understanding, while also open to knew ideas, you can use that collaboration to build more while working towards empathic leadership.