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Empathy is the most important leadership skill according to research

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Empathy has always been an essential skill for leaders, but it takes on a new dimension and becomes a priority. Far from being a soft approach, it can lead to significant business results.


You always knew showing empathy was good for people, but new research shows its importance for everything from innovation to retention. Good leadership requires a careful combination of all kinds of skills to create the conditions for engagement, happiness and performance, and empathy tops the list.

effects of stress

The reason empathy is so essential is because people are experiencing multiple types of stress, and data suggests they are being affected by the pandemic and the way our lives and work have been disrupted.

Mental health. A global study by Qualtrics found that 42% of people They witnessed the deterioration of their mental health. Specifically, 67% of people are more stressed, 57% are more anxious, and 54% are emotionally exhausted. 53% of people are sad, 50% are nervous, 28% have difficulty concentrating, 20% take longer to complete tasksAnd 15% find it difficult to think and 12% find it difficult to juggle their responsibilities.

personal life. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health found that our sleep is compromised when we are overworked. A study from the University of Illinois found that when employees receive spam emails at work, they tend to feel the negativity and bring it back into their personal lives, especially with their partner. Additionally, a study from Carleton University found that when people experience rudeness in the workplace, they tend to feel less capable in their parenting role.

Performance, turnover and customer experience. A study published in the Academy of Management Journal shows that when people experience rudeness at work, their performance suffers and they are less likely to help others. A new study from Georgetown University finds workplace rudeness is on the rise and its effects are far-reaching, including reduced performance and collaboration, a deteriorating customer experience and increased turnover.


Empathy contributes to positive outcomes

While we are going through difficult times, struggling with burnout, or struggling to find happiness at work, compassion can be a powerful antidote and contribute to positive experiences for individuals and teams. A new Catalyst study of 889 employees finds that empathy has important constructive effects:

Cooperat. When employees say so do their leaders My sympathyare more likely to say they can innovate — 61% of employees compared to just 13% of employees whose leaders are less empathetic.

– commitment. 76% of people who experienced empathy from their leaders said they were engaged, compared to only 32% of people who experienced less empathy.

position retention. Fifty-seven percent of white women and 62% of women of color said they were less likely to consider leaving their company when they felt the company respected and valued their personal circumstances. However, when they did not feel this level of value or respect for their life situation, only 14% and 30% of white women and women of color, respectively, said they were unlikely to consider leaving.

– inclusivity. 50% of people with empathetic leaders said their workplace was inclusive compared to just 17% of people Less empathetic leaders.

Professional life and private life. When people feel their leaders are more empathetic, 86% say they are able to balance the demands of their work and personal lives – successfully juggling personal, family and work commitments. This number can be compared to the 60% who reported less empathy.

Cooperation is also a factor. According to a study published in the journal Evolutionary Biology, when empathy is introduced into the decision-making process, it increases cooperation and even inspires people to be more empathetic. Empathy attracts sympathy.

– Psychological health. A Qualtrics study found that when leaders were seen as more empathetic, people reported higher levels of mental health.


Wired for empathy

Also, empathy seems to be innate. In a study from Lund University, children as young as two years old showed appreciation for others who had different perspectives than their own. Research from the University of Virginia found that when people saw Friends threatenedThey felt activity in the same part of their brain that was affected when they were personally threatened. People have feelings for their friends and colleagues as deep as they do for themselves. All of this makes empathy an important part of our human condition—at work and in our personal lives.


Lead with empathy

Leaders can show empathy in two ways. First, they can take another person’s thoughts into consideration through cognitive empathy (“If I were him, what would I be thinking now?”). The Leaders can also focus on a person’s feelings using emotional empathy (“If I were him, how would I feel?”). However, leaders will achieve better results not only when they think Personally others, but also when they express their concerns and ask directly about the challenges, and then listen to the responses of the employees.

Leaders don’t have to be mental health experts to show they care and care. Simply check in, ask questions and listen to what the employee has to say. The leaders They can also inquire about the company’s mental health support so they can provide information about resources for further assistance.

Good leadership also requires action. People will trust leaders He will feel more commitment and dedication when there is a match between what the leader says and what he does. All this understanding of the condition of others must be transformed into compassion and action. Empathy at work is about understanding the employee’s struggles and offering to help. It is about appreciating someone’s point of view and engaging in a healthy discussion that leads to a best solution. It takes a team member’s perspective and provides a new recommendation that contributes to greater success. As the popular saying goes, people may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.


summarizing

Empathy helps build positive relationships and organizational cultures, and it drives results. Empathy may not be an entirely new skill, but it takes on a new level of importance and new research clearly shows that empathy is the leadership skill that must be developed and demonstrated now and in the future in the world of work.

Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Tracy Brower

<< Also to read : It’s all about soft skills >>>

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