This is the one leadership skill that will set you apart.
I’m a classic empath. I’m drawn to help others. I’ve had to work on how I absorb other peoples’ energy. I pick up on ‘vibes’ quickly and am a great human lie detector!
I also cry in nearly every episode of Grey’s Anatomy 😂 yes, I feel all the feels. Deeply!
Empathy is such an integral part of who I am that it cannot help but come out in my leadership style. There was once a time when I thought this made me weak. Not leadership material.
Anecdotally speaking, and until recently, society normalised a commercial view in leadership a.k.a valuing numbers over people. As an empath, this never sat well with me. And as a HR professional, with “boots on the ground,” I quickly realised what a load of sh*t that was!
The skill of all skills
Impactful leadership requires you to tap into a fair few different traits and skills, but do you know what tops the list?
Now, don’t get me wrong. You need both a people and a commercial hat, but when you focus on people first? The numbers follow.
The data to back this up
67% of people with highly empathic managers report often or always being engaged, compared to only 24% of people with less empathic managers.
86% of people with highly empathic managers reported that they are able to successfully navigate the demands of their work and life (personal, family and work obligations), compared with 60% of people with less empathic managers.
42% of women and men experience inclusion with highly empathic managers, compared to 9% of women and 22% of men experience inclusion with less empathic managers.
All these areas positively impact:
- Motivation and discretionary effort
- Effective communication (no thank you silos)
- Productivity and presenteeism
- Costly Employee Relations cases and Work Cover claims
- Employee turnover
- Customer satisfaction (here’s to high Net Promoter Scores!
- Company reputation
Yep, the numbers don’t lie! Empathetic leadership is good for people and for business.
How this data relates to you
They key to effective leadership is bringing people together and taking them along on the journey to achieve a shared vision.
Empathy is a skill that enables you to do that. It enables you to connect on a personal and more meaningful level. It enables you to work with your people to get the best out of them. It’s a win-win!
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re a business role model. You set the tone for workplace culture. You’re visible and your decisions, actions, and words carry a lot of weight.
You can make a real difference to an employees’ experience at work and in life. Slowing down and taking the time to connect, being thoughtful and genuine in your approach, and taking intentional action to show you care will set you apart as a leader with impact.
Practical Next Steps
So, what are some practical, easy actions you can take that shows your people you care?
- Ask about their family and how they’re doing personally
- Be present, pay attention, actively listen and engage
- Ask about how they prefer to be communicated with and how they like to work
- Ask what they need to successfully do their job
- Celebrate their specific contributions and achievements
- Be mindful of your intention and use all this information to take genuine change
This data makes it clear that empathy is a competency to develop. It’s not a fluffy “nice to have” but a key driver of leadership success 👏
And when you’re ready? Here are some ways I can help:
- Delegation Mentoring: A practical online mentoring experience for those who want to stop doing all the things and start leading with intention. Gain instant access here.
- In-house Team Training: We specialise in delivering workshops on feedback conversations, nailing delegation, building engaged teams and change management. Enquire now.
- Private Leadership Mentoring: just you and me. Solving the specific people challenges keeping you up at night, right now. Book in a free vibe check chat now.
- Culture & Employee Experience Strategy: Perfect for businesses who want to get HR right from the get-go, are transitioning away from a Consultancy or want to stop doing HR like everyone else. Enquire now.