Empathy” conjures up visions of touchy-feely, “oh you poor baby” sorts of interactions. What could empathy possibly have to do with leadership? Quite a bit, actually. Last month, we explored why listening is important to leadership. Listening is the key to understanding, which is the key to persuasion. Leadership is all about persuasion. But what does empathy have to do with this? Empathy is a deeper form of understanding. Empathy goes beyond understanding by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, in order to understand what she feels. Empathy is the ability to understand the emotions of others, and enhances your skill at dealing with people according to their emotional reactions.