There seems to have been a shift in the roles and responsibilities of a leader. Words such as care, empathy, compassion, and LOVE were not to be spoken while behind the doors of a workplace. Not only are leaders now supposed to practice pathos, but these are the traits that set certain leaders apart, creating “the best leaders to work for”.
Let’s break it down.
Why does showing empathy and care for your employees ACTUALLY matter so much?
Well, here is one reason,
Leaders who get to know their employees are better able to tailor recognition efforts and personalize the experience to the individual. For example, when you know which of your employees are extroverts and which are introverts, you can provide recognition appropriate for their personality types, given that extroverts often like to be rewarded publicly and introverts likely prefer to be recognized in a small group or privately” (Bruce Jones, “Great Leaders Show Genuine Care for Their Teams”, 2017).
Okay, that seems fair, getting to know your people helps you lead them in the way most suitable for their learning styles, appreciation preferences, etc.
But does practicing care for your employees really set you apart? Can a leader be merely transactional and still gain the respect from their “followers”?
In short, the answer is sure.
However, if those were our two options…someone who cares about you personally and someone who treats everything as a transaction, I would be willing to bet you would go with the empathetic leader.
Let’s not place bets though.
We asked Nick Riggio, President of Logical Systems, LLC this question.
“Do you believe that a leader who cares about people and practices empathy is a “better” leader for it? If so, what is your experience with this either as a leader or being led by someone like this?”
I believe that the best leaders care deeply about their people. I have seen and lived many examples of the amazing things that happen within high-performance teams.
To get the best out of your people, you need to engage both their hearts and their minds. Most, if not all employees will give you a professional effort, but in order to move mountains and do what most would consider impossible, it takes more. It takes an engaged and motivated team, and this starts with the leader. People need to feel invested in the team, the job/the challenge and be willing to go above and beyond. This doesn’t happen from a purely intellectual perspective, it happens from an emotional perspective. People work with people and knowing that your leader cares about you, and is invested in you as a person is both powerful and rewarding. This emotional connection spurs that extra effort, sense of purpose and allows extraordinary things to take place.
So, there you have it, folks! Now ready, set, start caring about your people!
Okay, we realize it’s not an easy adjustment to make, and even if you think you are already doing this…are you really?
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a pathos-driven leader and taking an introspective approach to “Heart-led Leadership”, you can join us next week, December 6th to learn alongside Tommy Spalding.
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