Why the Best Modern Leaders Rely on Empathy

There is a growing belief that the leadership needed today is different from previous generations. The reasons are numerous, but a few to highlight include the stress of the Covid-Pandemic, WFH culture, and the shift from the task economy to the problem-solving economy.  

That means one of two things must happen; existing managers trained in traditional management approaches from the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s need to develop a different leadership skill set. Or organizations must begin looking for professionals who already look at leadership differently to be in management positions.

While many skills are essential in this new leadership era, empathy is one standing above the rest. Now before you shake empathy off as a weak skill, let’s get clear on what it is in the context of leadership. I have come to define it as, “How well you identify with others to understand their feelings and perceptions in order to guide your actions.” I often describe it to coaching clients as your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and act differently because of it.  

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