Empathy is already a requirement of effective leadership. (And for good reason.) Here is something, however, that I’m seeing successful leaders do that is differentiating them and the results they create: They go beyond personal empathy (the ability to understand and share feelings with colleagues) and demonstrate business empathy.
Personal empathy is:
- Being aware of and acknowledging the emotions of others.
- Caring about the well-being of colleagues.
- Sincerely checking in, for example: “How’s your family?”
- Validating the perspectives or opinions of teammates.
Business empathy is:
- Doing what you need to do to ensure your colleagues across the enterprise achieve their objectives – even if their success doesn’t affect yours.
- Giving others the credit they deserve for organizational successes.
- Acknowledging the hardships others face – and supporting them in breaking through the challenges they face.
- Realizing that you are a peer among an organization of heroes.
When teammates demonstrate business empathy, they improve the odds their team will win. Therefore, it’s worth asking each other as teammates: Do we stop at personal empathy – or go beyond to business empathy?
Are we as passionate about and as committed to each other’s success as we are our own?
Your next interaction will reveal your answer.