Nearly, all of us, at one time, or another, have witnessed, someone, in a position of leadership, who seems to care deeply, about his organization, and constituents, as opposed to others, who appear to prioritize their personal/ political agenda, and/ or, self – interest! Which type of individuals, seems to, consistently, get through to his stakeholders, in a more effective manner? Who would you select, to be your leader, and why? After, over four decades, of involvement, in nearly, every aspect of leading, from identifying and qualifying, to training, developing, and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or, potential leaders, as well as serving, on several occasions, as a leader, I strongly believe, one cannot, effectively, lead, unless/ until, he proceeds with the utmost degree of genuine empathy, consistently. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 necessities, of being capable, and ready, to do so.
1. Sincerely care, and want to help/ serve others (make a difference, for the better): Unless/ until, one wants to serve and represent others, and, is willing to put them, ahead of any personal/ political agenda, and/ or, self – interest, he shouldn’t strive to become a leader! To do so, one must, sincerely, care, and want to help others. He strives to make a difference, for the better! It’s important to realize, empathy, is far – different, from, sympathy! While, the latter, is, feeling sorry/ bad, for someone, the former, is, proactively, trying to put yourself, in their place, and better understand, and appreciate, both, their actual, and perceived needs, goals, priorities, etc.
2. Commit to listen, more than you speak: For most people, their favorite sound, is the sound, of their, own voice! Only, when one commits to effectively, listen, on a consistent, focused basis, will he be able to place his emphasis, where he becomes capable of making, this key connection!
3. Put others first/ serve and represent: How can you be, a truly, empathetic leader, unless/ until, you prioritize, serving and representing your stakeholders? It must be their interests/ benefits, that matter most!
4. Listen/ learn from every conversation, and experience/ Gain expertise: Great leaders effectively, listen, and learn, from every conversation, and experience, in order to gain, relevant expertise, and proficiency, which, hopefully, might lead, to more knowledge, greater wisdom, and a true understanding, of the best path, forward!
5. Genuine empathy: Be certain, your empathy, is genuine, rather than trying to artificially, make others, believe it is, so! Proceed, with the patience, consistency, and discipline, to create meaningful changes, for the better!
Are you ready, willing, able, and possess the commitment and discipline, to proceed, with the utmost degree of genuine empathy? Empathetic leaders, make the best connection, with others, and, therefore, generally, have the best chance of inspiring and motivating others, to greater involvement, and commitment!
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