7 Empathetic Traits that Exceptional Leaders Share

7 Empathetic Traits that Exceptional Leaders Share
This week’s Friday resource comes from Entrepreneur and lists seven traits empathetic leaders have in common.

When empathy is present in the workplace, it has the potential to create higher amounts of understanding, clarity, and trust. Widely considered one of the most beneficial attributes a leader can possess, empathy gives leaders the ability to see and feel the experiences of other people, including the individuals who comprise their teams.

However, empathy can be considered an umbrella term—within it are several positive attributes that are widely shared among effective leaders.

So what all does empathy entail? Per psychologist, author, and speaker Sherrie Campbell, here are some of the traits great leaders share.

1. Self-awareness. “Great leaders are deeply knowledgeable about themselves and committed to their own personal development. To be great we must do the same. The most influential people on earth, those who have left the most significant impact, led from the heart. Empathy is not something we learn from a book. It is gained through suffering. From our suffering, we come to accept pain and challenge as integral parts of life, and totally necessary for great leadership. Think about it, would you want to follow a leader who had never suffered? How would this person know what to do, or how to lead us on the front lines if they’ve never been there before? To be great, we must know how to lead ourselves through our own fears in order to know how to lead others through theirs.”

2. Self-control. “Empathy is most easily sacrificed when we’re upset, angry or disappointed with another person. We tend to be the most hurtful and impatient in these situations. The important thing to try and practice is taking a moment to get clear before speaking. Great leaders tell others when a conversation will need to wait until they are clear enough to communicate responsibly. There is a wisdom to knowing that conversations can be placed on hold. We cannot be reactive and empathic in tandem. In taking some time, we are able to take in the feeling experience and perception of the other in a way that makes sense, or at least arouses questions that can be asked with empathy, rather than accusation. We get a lot further in business when we have enough empathy for the other to make sure and harness our own self-control before we speak.”

Read more traits and the full article here.

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