How to be an empathetic leader

Running a successful business requires you to be a strong and empathetic leader. It is a widely known fact that we are unable to truly understand how our colleagues are feeling, as we cannot put ourselves in their shoes. We must therefore make the internal decision to understand how our colleagues are feeling to the best of our abilities, without feeling sorry for them.

Feeling sorry will get you nowhere

It is of extreme importance that you remember to never feel sorry for anyone. This may sound uncaring, however, imagine for a moment that your leader felt sorry for you, instead of trying to understand your point of view and rectify the situation. Your productivity would significantly decrease, as you would know that your leader felt sorry for you, instead of understanding and treating you as an equal.

As a productive and empathetic leader, it is your duty to drive your team to success and happiness. You most certainly do not achieve this by feeling sorry for your colleagues. You must instead, learn to show compassion towards your team and understand how you can help them to the best of your abilities. This will ultimately result in a productive and happy workplace.

Showing empathy

If you choose to display empathy towards your colleagues, they will continue to rise in their productivity levels while creating a positive workplace culture. Actively displaying compassion and empathy towards your colleagues, while attempting to understand how they are feeling and their point of view, will ultimately show that you hold their values, opinions, and wellbeing in the highest regard. You can be sure that if you convey these actions appropriately, your team will grow both professionally and personally, whilst continuing to follow your directions and guidance.

Leaders will often, though perhaps unintentionally, neglect to reassure their colleagues of the important efforts and achievements they are making in their daily professional lives. Although you cannot fully understand someone’s thoughts and feelings, try your best to imagine yourself in their situation. You may find that if you were indeed in your colleague’s situation, you would perhaps find yourself straying from the core purpose and values of the team, as you would not have that understanding and empathetic leader to speak with about your concerns and issues.

If you are interested on how you can become an understanding and empathetic leader, or to further your skills in conveying empathy, then contact integrity and Values today at or visit for a detailed and comprehensive profile assessment and to better understand where you currently place on the continuum.

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