Empathy is strength. Not all company leaders see this or know this. Some leaders are still ‘old school leaders’, and lead with fear. They have no idea how much they lose personally and do harm for the company they lead.
Fortunately many leaders are nowadays empathic and have learnt the importance and strength of empathy and smart leadership.
A study by ‘business solver’ showed that less than half of the employees felt their workplace encourage empathy. The lack of empathy leads often to unhappy employees. When employees are feeling discouraged they do not reach their goals and thus the company itself does not reach the business goals. There are fortunately quite easy ways to make a change, to make a positive change!
To make a positive change requires the right attitude, empathic leaders and the courage to change.
The CEO’s role is not to control and give orders in an aggressive manner. A good and smart CEO knows ho to affect positively, how to make people want to do the required changes, when needed, and how to decide new strategic decisions in order to reach the business goals.
”You cannot lead a company without empathy,” says Andrea Jung (Chief Executive Officer of Grameen America). She has also been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Avon and has been a Chief Executive Officer in Fortune 500 companies for many years.
It is important to find balance
So how can one be empathic and at the same time make tough decisions regarding the future of the company and the changes needed in the work of many employees?
The best solution is to find the balance! A healthy balance in decision making focuses at the same time on the needs of the employees and the future of the company. Jung says, that even though it is hard to find the balance, it is the most important task of a smart CEO.
It takes knowledge and courage to make the best decisions!
Empathy at the workplace
Empathy means to understand the thoughts and needs of all employees. The first step is to encourage open discussions and stop doing the old way, like having meetings secretly with only a small team. Encouraging employees to tell their ideas and to be brave is the key to success at any company.
Motivate and inspire people!
Jung advices to start with clear and open internal communications. The next step is to listen. An empathic and smart leader meets the employees face to face and listens to to the people. This is the only way to know what is working and what is not.
Careerbuilder wrote some years ago that the trend is now to hire empathic leaders and employees. These people can make the best decisions and reach success.
To be empathic takes courage
Be brave. Be courageous! Choose the most empathic and smart people to be the leaders in your company. Lead as a mentor, don’t be a whip. Trust people and let them see this trust. The more you let people be brave and feel trusted, the better the success of the company will be.