✏ The Power of Empathy

Powerful leadership requires a sincere empathy toward those you lead.

Empathy is not a weakness. Empathy is a strength.

However, there seems to be a disconnect in understanding the differences between “empathy” and “sympathy.” Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another.

“Empathy fuels connection; sympathy drives disconnection.”

– Brene´ Brown

Through research, I have learned that a predominant theory is that leaders tend to subscribe to two different routes for leadership. The first is a “task-oriented” style where leaders focus their behaviors on the specifics roles of the job and productivity. The second is “relations-oriented leadership,” where leaders focus on emotional behaviors to create quality relationships, such as listening, loyalty, trust, providing support and encouragement.

The leaders who were authentic and vested in following a relations-oriented leadership style were able to produce more results — and even more impressive — retain their staff for more extended periods of time. Remember, trust and respect are motivators for an employee to stay at a company even when the financial lure may be tempting.

A great employee leaves a bad leader, not a company.

How else can you effectively lead without truly understanding those that you are responsible for? To be a successful leader, it is imperative that you develop the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This will be your connection to greatness — the switch to ignite empowerment. The trust and respect to earn loyalty.

Far too often, leaders are stubborn and lean toward the old-school management style which states that you should have a clear and distinct separation between those who work for you, and those whom you call friends. You can’t mix the two. “Having friendships with your subordinates will only create problems”, the theory says.

Through experience, observation, discussion, and application, I cannot entirely agree with this. Keeping an arm’s-length distance between yourself and your team will get you nowhere. If you want complete buy-in, loyalty, commitment, and trust, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone.

In my opinion, there is no way as a leader that you would have the ability to be able to map another’s thoughts, needs, motivations, feelings, attitudes beliefs and issues without empathy. People don’t want your pity; they are looking for your human side, the connection.

“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people to inspire and empowering their lives.”

– Oprah Winfrey

A sincere and empathetic relationship with your team can be the difference between achieving your objectives and falling short. It can often be the difference between good and great. If viewed as a sacrifice on your part, there may be a need for a self-awareness evaluation to ensure you can be in the role. There is a distinct difference between viewing your team as workers vs. people.

There are 5 Steps of Empathy:

  1. Listen to what the person is saying and watch their body language
  2. Remember a time when you felt the same way.
  3. Imagine how you might think about that situation. Validate the full range of emotions that come up.
  4. Ask how they are feeling. Share with them what you are noticing.
  5. Show you care through your words and actions – if you promise something, follow through


It has become apparent that empathy is an essential trait for 21st-century leadership and beyond. If compassion is not your strong suit as a leader, make it a priority to understand better where others are coming from. Find what inspires and motivates them, learn their triggers and discover their strengths, learn how to connect with them on an individual basis.

Balance it with your leadership style and be prepared to see positive changes occur.

Do great things today and make a difference.


Humbled to lead,

#chargeup   #lessonsinleadership   #leadership   #lead   #process  #patience #change #venture  #lead  #prosper #reflect #inspire #empower  #motivate  #beyou #gratitude  #integrity  #starttoday  #humilty



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Victor Pisano✏ The Power of Empathy

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