People will always be people and you’ll always need people. Show your human side!
Empathy remains topical in authentic and servant leadership discussions. It’s a human to human skill that leaders must long for. Harvard Business Review (2017) demystified ‘empathy’ in its humblest form. It breaks down to say that everything is about relationship. If you’re winning or you’re failing, develop the habit of scanning through your circle at least every quarter in each year and you’ll always know your next big or small steps if you do a good self-audit.
In one of my corporate training sessions at the National Banking College with some selected Bankers in middle level management who are on their way to obviously becoming Senior Managers and Executives in various Banks, it came out clearly that building strategic relationships at the workplace is crucial to personal growth and leadership development.
How to grow a strategic circle and how to manage a good circle cannot be relegated to the background. Within the empathy discussion is the big picture thinking when it comes to people. Remember! People will always be people and you’ll always need people. Show your human side! You need to learn how to connect to the right people. It’s about human to human relationships. Always note that in its deeper sense, we manage emotions at work and not people, Ahenkorah (2018) echoed. Understanding others especially those unlike you, is a skill. People are made up of emotions.
In effect, it is normal that we allow sentiments to flow within groups. A leader’s role is to learn how to manage overflowing emotions so to control possible personality clashes within teams. Maxwell (1995) instructed unapologetically that it is a leader’s responsibility to grow leaders. In other words, leaders are mandated to develop followers by raising them to become leaders.
Every leader within the leadership interactional framework as part of your job description is to create a leadership pool. When you achieve this, it becomes easier to achieve the fruits and joy of delegation at the office and the power in the law of synergy. Empathy in leadership is also about giving people opportunity to grow. Central to this discussion is cross-learning which people often deemphasize. There is no point grooming followers and leaving them to wither.
To develop your skills in empathy, pay attention to your service orientation skills as well. Many institutions demonstrate empathy as part of their values. Their intention, without a doubt, is to refocus employees towards ‘Leadership as service’. Leadership is service. To lead is to serve. Good leaders serve. There is a cliché, but I’m very will aligned, that good leaders were once good followers.
Empathy is also about understanding the power of diversity. I have personally experienced the positive and captivating influence in diversity on my journey. People who understand Leadership, understand this! Life presents to us many colours and it is our responsibility as leaders to know the colours to select and to blend so to paint a perfect picture in any given situation.
The law of synergy in Teamwork as well researched and tutored by J.C Maxwell (2001) summarizes that leaders who learn to bring out the best in all manner of people win at the end, because they understand what empathy means. In all of these, leaders must be politically aware of their zones. As a corporate trainer and a management consultant I’m not asking you to be a participant in politics at the office. That’s not what you were employed to do. Nonetheless, be politically aware of the happenings around you so you are always prepared for the next step.
This is Leadership!