Empathy is a trait many leaders believe they have, but in reality, their thoughts and actions aren’t that of an empathetic leader. Don’t believe me? Have you ever thought, “Why is that person doing it that way?” or “This should be easy, why aren’t they learning faster? ” or “Why is this person fighting me on my idea?”
Every day, we are faced with individuals who all bring their unique experiences with them. Some we can relate to, and others we may not even be aware of. Empathy is defined as the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and act differently because of it.
Sounds easy, but old habits die hard. We are so quick to make snap judgments or assume people think like us. Here’s one thing you can do to put it into practice today:
Instead of judging someone or something else, get curious. Ask them why they’re doing it that way or what the thought process is behind their decision. Often you’ll find you can empathize easier when you understand the full picture.
Having empathy for everyone on your team is important because understanding how others are feeling and why they’re doing things a certain way can truly aid you elevating everyone (not just the people who are like you).
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