Guest Commentary From Dr. John A. Passante: Are Empathy And Leadership Soul Mates? - aftermarketNews

Guest Commentary From Dr. John A. Passante: Are Empathy And Leadership Soul Mates?

I understand that in today's highly competitive, intense business climate, empathy appears to be incongruous to the demands of achieving business objectives, but the subject deserves a closer look.

As we all view the landscape of today’s automotive aftermarket, the
order of the day is driving the bottom line and tracking the financial
metrics and of course, doing more with less. When I mention the word
“empathy” in a business meeting, I get funny looks, which speaks
volumes!
 
I understand that in today’s highly competitive,
intense business climate, empathy appears to be incongruous to the
demands of achieving business objectives, but the subject deserves a
closer look.
 
As someone who believes strongly that leadership
involves a true concern for others and being open to their ideas and
creativity, I believe this can result in new methods and improved
customer relationships. Professional and personal relationships drive
results, which are developed and nurtured through leaders taking an
interest in employees, thus empathy.
 
There is a distinct
difference between people talking at each other and making a
concentrated effort to listen and discover opportunities for
collaboration, and to really connect!
 
Indeed, trust is the basis
of all relationships in life (personal and business). Empathy and trust
are members of the same family and they live in the same house.
 
The
reality is we all need others and their support to achieve our goals
and objectives. The essence of empathy is a keen awareness of both the
logical and emotional influences that go into each business decision.
 
The
road to empathy is paved with compromise in order to meet employees
where they are. Listening to others’ points of view and suggestions and
respecting their perspectives is critical to displays of true empathy.
Accepting others and their innovative ideas and their willingness to
contribute to the success of the company, and to challenge the status
quo, is to practice empathy.
 
Being aware of the needs of others
and what they are dealing with is the foundation of empathy. In my
opinion, we are all wired to have empathy, to care and listen to others,
and to connect with them, which is the joy of being with others and to
being human. A true gift.
 
In my experience, empathy is usually
not on the list of traits for successful and effective leadership. We
can start to change that now.
 
Ponder the benefits of empathetic leadership:
 
· Employees have a sense of someone having their back.
· Mistakes are viewed as a learning opportunity.
· Empathetic leaders mentor employees and guide them to improve and excel.
· Empathy builds trust and helps employees support change in the organization.
· Empathy creates a relationship with employees based on mutual respect.
 
The
mission of impactive leadership is to enhance a culture-focused on
collectively creating value for employees, stakeholders and customers.
Ideas are welcomed and celebrated!
 
Henry Ford once said, “If
there is a great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to
put oneself in another person’s place and to see things from his or her
point of view-as well as from one’s own.” Empathy!
 
The truth is,
we live in an unprecedented era of accelerated and unpredictable
change. In order for organizations to respond and adapt, never has
empathy been so important.
 
The establishment of a
psychologically safe company culture is essential in order to glean
maximum creativity, supportive communication and productivity.
 
Clearly,
empathy involves active connection – a keen willingness to share
experiences, feelings, hopes, fears and dreams. The effects of empathy
are long-lasting.
 
In the final analysis, all of us need to
develop relationships, both personal and professional, that you can rely
on day in and day out!
 
By seeking to better understand others,
we will indeed be better understood! It is a key element to bring the
human touch to the work place! Empathy begets empathy – let us all start
today!
 
 
 
 

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