Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Empathy and its impact on business.

With our plates so full at work, and with myriad responsibilities to deliver on technical and operational levels, we perhaps need to be reminded that our ability to be genuinely emphathetic has a significant impact on our, and our employees’, success.

If you’re leading—or collaborating with—others, the following points may be helpful as you consider the business case for demonstrating empathy in the workplace:
– Genuine empathy is easy to recognize—people know and feel when it’s offered, and they know and feel when it’s missing.
– Thoughtfully seeking and considering the feelings and emotional reactions of others will add to your ability to make sound business decisions.
– Leaders who have empathy have a deeper understanding of the cultural, generational, and ethnic differences that can enhance or divide a team.
– Being able to calmly listen to—versus judge—the feelings of others, provides an opportunity for leaders to understand how to best respond (which opens dialogue) versus react (which often stifles communication).
– Acknowledgment of your employees’ or customers’ expressed fears or apprehensions, opens the door for further discussion, and provides a better opportunity to respond to their true needs.
– A leader’s ability to genuinely demonstrate empathy, can have a powerful impact on employee morale and customer retention, both of which are crucial for organizational success.

For some, empathy is an innate ability. For others, it presents a development opportunity. Either way, empathy remains a crucial component of effective leadership and business success.


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