(Empathic Leadership) The Secret to Being a Better Leader: See and Hear Others

Stop making this about you.


Team members led by empathetic managers — who listen, hear, and take in what others think and feel — work in more productive, innovative, and satisfying ways.


Empathy leads to power for many reasons. People who attend to others carefully are better able to resolve conflicts, and negotiate in ways that yield better outcomes for the parties involved. Empathy enables people to handle the stresses of social living better. For example, in one study, simply labeling an angry expression with the word anger — the most rudimentary act of empathy — reduced the activation of stress-related regions of the brain usually amped up by perceiving others’ anger.


Perhaps most important, carefully attending to others’ emotions conveys respect: People feel esteemed when they are heard and understood by others, and are more willing to be influenced by such people.


 By Dacher Keltner