Or rather, leading those who are in pain.
We don’t mean a staff member kicking a toe on a desk, or the despair of a sports team failing to sport at the required level. Inevitably at some point our staff work with some degree of pain. This could be from within the organisation, or from personal issues stemming from health of finance.
Regardless of origin, leaders have a responsibility to empower staff in pain. That’s not to say they assume their staff’s burden, but to assist in building a resilience to hardship that gives them autonomy over their contentment.
Empathy is central to human development. 130 years ago, Darwin observed as much. Our society mandates it; a critical mass of people must be prepared to operate in a way that is mutually beneficial (or with a necessary degree of empathy) for civilised society to exist.
There are three simple parts to compassionate or empathic leadership:
1. Cognitive – “I understand you”
2. Feelings – “I feel for you”
3. Action – “I want to help you – this is how I can”
Remember that hardship is a natural part of life, and that to build a productive workplace is to build a resilient one. Empathy is the first tool in cultivating resilience, not replacing it.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.
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