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The Power of Empathy in Leadership

Oftentimes, the most impactful response to another person’s pain or frustrations is to simply say, “I hear you.” This simple acknowledgment can have a profound effect, offering comfort and validation in times of distress.

Empathy is the cornerstone behavior of unforgettable leadership. It’s the ability to meet someone where they are, judgment-free, and stay with them in their experience. This means no advice-giving or problem-solving—just being present and understanding.

Empathy involves:

Active Listening: Truly hearing what the other person is saying, without preparing a response or judgment.

Emotional Connection: Feeling with someone, rather than feeling for them, creating a shared experience of emotions.

Non-Verbal Communication: Sometimes, a nod, a hand on the shoulder, or simply sitting in silence together can communicate empathy more powerfully than words.

Take 3 minutes and 26 seconds to watch Brene’s Brown description of Empathy. Even if you’ve seen it before, it can be highly beneficial to watch it again and maybe pick something up that you hadn’t the first time!