What skills should a leader have in 2022? No doubt, the ability to plan and prioritize tasks, as well as the ability to encourage and motivate the team, are essential. On the other hand, we tend to underestimate empathy as a much-needed skill. Empathy is necessary for a leader to effectively coordinate a happy and productive team.
To maximize outcomes and motivate the team, the leader must empathize with each member’s situation.
Stress is a significant factor for many of us at work and home. People might get exhausted when the pressure becomes a habit, and their performance can deteriorate. We’ve all been on a roller coaster of emotions since the Covid-19 outbreak began (anger, anxiety, and stress). These negative emotions affect professional performance and make daily tasks more challenging.
Furthermore, people who are stressed at work experience negative consequences in terms of sleep quality and interpersonal connections.
Empathy is a critical element in the workplace, according to a Catalyst study. Empathy-based leadership benefits the company and boosts the employee’s attitude and individual results.
According to this study:
- 61% of respondents said they feel more creative when their managers are compassionate.
- 76% of employees who experienced empathy from their manager felt more engaged at work.
- Employee retention improves: more than 50% of women who felt empathy from the leader indicated they would not quit as long as they were valued and appreciated.
- 86% of people reported that their work-life balance improved due to their leader showing empathy.
The Customer Care industry is about people: partners, employees, and customers. A company with a solid empathy-based organizational culture will always provide positive results and have happy employees. Empathetic leaders can transmit this ability to their team members, who will then apply it in relationships with end customers.
Empathetic leaders are those who are interested in their team members’ emotional states, listen to them, understand them, and respond empathetically when facing challenging situations in their work or personal lives. There is no universally accepted method of expressing empathy. This trait should come naturally, and your response should be genuine, indicating that you understand emotions and are there for your colleagues.
Valoris periodically provides leadership and empathy training for managers to understand better how to behave in different situations. Also, they learn about the impact the happiness of their colleagues has on their results as a team.
How does an empathetic leader look like?
- They are approachable
An empathic leader is someone you can rely on for support and guidance. The human side of the leader takes priority over the hierarchy.
- They pay attention and show appreciation for colleagues.
They show an interest in their team members’ lives, opinions, and feelings and offer answers or suggestions for challenges they face.
- They examine the overall wellness of the team.
An empathetic leader includes all team members in decision-making processes, asks for feedback, and provides input on task distribution.
- They are flexible
They are adaptable, taking into account the opinions of those around them and making changes as necessary.
- They promote team autonomy.
The empathetic leader makes colleagues feel valued, encourages them to speak up, develop new ideas, take on challenging tasks, and offer help when needed.
How do you become an empathetic leader?
- Take care of yourself
It is critical to look after your mental and physical health to be able to exhibit empathy and lead a team to positive results in a pleasant environment.
- Pay attention and listen
Show that you care by being present, showing interest, and taking the time to listen to the team. Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to share your emotions. Also, to determine a person’s mood, try to pay attention to nonverbal signals (gestures, facial expressions, body language).
- Set a good example.
We often forget what someone said, but we remember how they made us feel. Support for a person must be accompanied by compassion and action, and such actions can serve as an example for other colleagues. As a result, people will feel more involved, respected, and valued.
- Provide support when people need it
You can choose to take over or delegate a task when a colleague is having a particularly rough day or a particularly unpleasant call. You can also allow them some time to talk, observe their emotions, and think about how you can help them. Often, we must show that we are willing to listen and offer the person a break or a solution to the demanding situations they face.
- Acknowledge the team’s achievements.
When people are consistently encouraged and rewarded for their accomplishments, they feel valued at work and develop a sense of belonging. Furthermore, regular constructive criticism in a professional yet compassionate manner aids in performance improvement and increases gratitude.
Empathy is frequently overlooked, although it is an essential skill for effective coordination and a happy team.
To summarize, empathy is a valuable tool for a leader and a motivator for open team communication. Employees will feel understood and valued due to the leader’s empathic approach, and they will become more loyal and happier at work.