Today I asked Jamil Qureshi how important is empathy in leadership?
Hello, Jamil. How are you?
Hi, Maria. I’m very well thank you. How are you?
I’m good, and I’m going to talk to you about Donald Trump today, not specifically about Donald himself but about his note that he had when he delivered his press conference, and he had written down, “I hear you,” as if he needed reminding to be empathetic, which is interesting. How important is empathy in leadership?
I think empathy in leadership is incredibly important. The reason why is that for us to move people in a particular direction with any sustainable level of change, we need to make an emotional connection. We can’t make emotional connections unless we understand people, we truly have a level of awareness when it comes to their mood, their levels of engagement, what it is that it would take to motivate them in a particular direction of travel that we believe is important as a leader. I always say the difference between compliance and commitment when you are driving a change agenda with people is whether you tell people to be different, we simply work in an operational, objective way, and that’s compliance, or commitment is more about allowing people to create different pictures, different words in their head, different feelings. I guess once we start to communicate a vision, try and get people behind a purpose, get them excited and enthusiastic, it can only come from understanding those people in a particular way so that we can work with those emotions, amplify or change those emotions as a leader to get the most out of our people. So the only way in which we really move people in a particular direction or maximise potential is through emotional connectivity. I think emotional connectivity, emotional intelligence, empathy, self awareness, and awareness of others is an incredibly important trait in leadership.
Thank you, Jamil. I heard you.
Thank you, Maria.