How Embracing Empathy Improves our Leadership
If you’re an empath, you know that you have the ability to feel and understand the emotions of others. You’re also aware that this can be both a blessing and a curse.
If you’re not sure if you’re an empath or not, then this article will help you to understand what an empath is and how you can leverage it to get better results from your team.
Empaths are very aware of their surroundings, and also of the people in them. They can sense the emotions of others, and often feel what others are feeling.
They can be overwhelmed by the emotions of others, and have difficulty in finding their own centre. This can be particularly true during times of stress, tiredness and physical fatigue.
A couple of statements, empaths might make – whether a leader or not
I’m always left drained and empty after big meetings
I often feel written off after being around specific people
Going to the mall gives me a headache, (for no real reason)
As an empathic person, you’re more likely to feel exhausted or debilitated with certain people or in large groups, which for obvious reasons isn’t great for leadership and direction.
It’s important to learn how to protect your energy reserves so you don’t get to this level of emotional exhaustion or overwhelm.
Combined with heavy work-loads, people-managing and decision-making, the day to day can create a heavy, mental toll.
On one hand, empathy allows you to connect with others on a deep level and understand in a way that builds deep rapport. On the other, it can be debilitating (and frustrating) to constantly be taking on without realizing, the emotions of those around, without a filter.
But I believe empathic abilities are actually a blessing in disguise, you just have to master the gift.
How Empathy Can Help Leadership
In a world increasingly driven by profit and self-interest, empaths can lead by example to create a more compassionate society in all industries.
With this way of thinking, you will be able to see the world from a more holistic perspective. It helps you to identify areas where change is needed in order to create a more balanced and harmonious world.
You have the potential to be a powerful leader – someone who can inspire and motivate others with your compassion and understanding.
You have the ability to inspire and motivate others, and your deep understanding of human emotions can be a powerful tool in achieving your goals.
How? Most importantly, by being fully aware of your personal emotional state. This enables you to identify the difference between your own feelings and those of others.
If you’re ready to unleash the empath leader within you, here are some further tips to leverage and amplify your existing leadership skills.
1. Learn to Control Your Emotions
When it comes to managing your emotions, it doesn’t mean suppressing your emotions or trying to bottle them up. It’s about being aware of your emotions and learning how to manage them in a healthy way.
Even negative emotions like anger can be a sign that something isn’t right in your life. You may be working too much, taking on too many responsibilities or picking up the slack for someone else.
2. Set Boundaries
It’s important to know when to say no and when to take a step back. You don’t always have to be super attentive to everyone all the time. It’s okay to put yourself first and take care of you, unapologetically.
Occasionally people can be pretty demanding and I don’t mean in a good way. They expect you to drop everything in a nanosecond for their agenda.
It’s necessary to be selfish sometimes. I get that saying ‘no’ can be pretty hard, especially when you don’t want to let people down, or believe it will be used against you… but you have to stand up for yourself.
As a new healer, I would often prioritize my clients and forget to take care of my health. I would consistently accept after-hour appointments, skip meals, and forget to exercise. As a result, I became more prone to external emotions and had trouble sleeping.
Now, I have learned to set boundaries for myself. I take time out for myself – sometimes people don’t recognize the ‘quiet me’ but that’s not for me to worry about.
I also learned to say no, which has all helped me be a more productive person and a more powerful healer.
3. Be Authentic
People will respond to you better if you’re genuine and authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be true to yourself and others will appreciate your sincerity.
It’s important to lead with integrity, especially if you’re trying to build other people’s trust. Troops will rally behind people those they trust.
If you’re struggling, let them know… in a way that is helpful and allows for opportunity to move forward.
Leaders have been told to never show signs of weakness, this has been miss-interpreted to ‘never be real’. There are times for strong stewardship and times for vulnerability.
Most people appreciate honesty especially when they already know times are challenging.
Choose your situations and select when to be honest with yourself and those that look to you for guidance.
4. Communicate Effectively
One of the most important things you can do as a leader is communicate effectively. This means being clear and concise in your communication and making sure that your message is understood.
I have seen a lot of leaders who do not communicate effectively. They do not get the message across to the people that they are supposed to be leading.
As a leader you have to remember that people look up to you, admire you and they actually do want to respect you.
It is your job to make sure they understand what you need from them – especially if you are struggling – and how you expect them to respond or interact with you.
One of the most powerful moments was watching a CEO share that there were challenges and he cared about his team. He was moved to tears but followed it up with the determination to support them and work with the entire company to get back on track.
I swear his employees would have cut their pays in half if he’d asked them to that day.
5. Inspire Others
As an empath, you have the ability to inspire others with your deep understanding of human emotions. Use your powers for good and help others to achieve their goals. Step into the shoes of others and feel their pain, but also their joy.
Empathy in action is when a person understands the struggles of another person and offers assistance. Knowing a colleague’s perspective and empathizing with their pain is important to make them feel heard, understood, and valued.
This gift helps to promote positive human energy and increase overall positivity. Use your empathy to help others and make a positive difference in the world.
As the popular saying goes, it’s not always how you say something, but how you make people feel that really matters.