“Please leave your ‘home issues’ at home. Don’t bring them to the office”.
I told bluntly my young manager who recently became a father and was struggling to support his wife, who herself was struggling with the newborn baby as the couple was staying all alone far away from their family. This was many years before.
Years later, I realized how wrong I was in managing that young manager.
The ‘Empathy’ factor was missing in my interaction with him…more so, as a Boss who should have wholeheartedly supported him in his struggle.
Empathy is a critical factor especially, when you are leading a team. As a leader, you need to understand and share the feelings of your team members.
It is important to acknowledge the emotions of others, though many times you might not agree with them. But you need to recognize and respect their emotions.
Listen to others with all your attention and try to understand their perspective. Most of the time, we are prejudiced and prejudge others.
Your team members need to realize that you are bothered about their well-being. You need to show genuine concern towards them and support them when required.
Empathy is not a ‘soft skill’, it is an important leadership trait! And it is critical for effective leadership.
So, the next time when you are faced with a difficult situation as a leader, remember the power of empathy and compassion, and let it guide your actions and decisions!
Remember, empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.