As Steven Covey puts it.... 'when you show deep empathy towards others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That is when you can get more creative in solving problems'
This ties in very closely with my previous blog which indicated that if you want to invite change and get the best out of your team, you first need to focus on helping things go right, and this requires you to genuinely build relationships with them, this requires empathy, and truly understanding their perspective.
Empathy may be the most important characteristic of a successful leader. As a leader, you must learn to understand and acknowledge how others are thinking and feeling. You can’t give people what they want and need if you don’t know what they want and need. It’s about taking the interests of others as well as your own into consideration. Empathy is about being we-focused rather than I-focused and understanding that, collectively, we are better off when we step outside of our silos. It is easy to get buried in the layers of management and overwhelming amounts of data within our organizations. We get caught up in fighting for our individual needs and forget to look at the bigger picture and true purpose of what we are doing.