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Empathic Leadership: empowering teamwork with empathy

Empathic Leadership: empowering teamwork with empathy

November 29, 2022

Nowadays, we are looking for and developing a new type of figure to form groups in team work: the empathic leader. This new role has much to do with a generational change, with a more open mentality towards workers, thus breaking with the traditional scheme of the authoritarian boss.

The same concept comprises a human quality: empathy. Empathetic leadership is that leadership whose way of fitting into a group of individuals is based on the connection between people and human and close treatment. Understanding others and enhancing their feelings within the group becomes a necessity.

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Defining empathic leadership

There is fierce competition within the labor market. In the labor market an added value is sought, an extra plus that can make a difference from the rest. That is, companies no longer seek only professional or academic knowledge. The big or small firms look for that pedagogical and emotional characteristic in a candidate that is going to captain the personnel.


Thus, the empathic leadership pretends to be based on a deeper understanding of each member of a team . Knowing their skills, their virtues, their shortcomings, their communication, cooperation and integration skills. The ultimate goal of this technique is to enhance the work performance and involve all the members of the group.

Leader vs. Boss

Note the differences between "the boss" and "the leader." The first holds a hierarchical position within a company . This is someone who is expressly dedicated to distribute guidelines and transmit orders in different tasks, without much room to discern or show opposition to what is ordered.


The leader, however, wins the sympathy, his own subordinates transfer that power, that legitimacy. The difference between the two profiles is a matter of attitude. Empathic leadership is formed on the basis of trust and mutual respect between worker and superior.

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Characteristics of the empathic leader

Empathic leadership is not limited only to empathy as a defining model. It responds to a series of bases and qualities that are much deeper than the personalist attitude.

Specifically, these are the 7 pillars of empathic leadership:

1. Humility

This is the basic principle of this type of leadership. Arrogance, arrogance or denigration are concepts that are antagonistic to empathy. A good leader should treat all the members with respect and without compromising their dignity, simply.


2. Flexibility

This translates directly into a lack of unjustified rigidity, without forgetting that the final word in decision-making is still the leader. Often you lose authority if you do not take good care of this detail .

3. Passion

The figure of the leader must show at all times an active attitude and energy . This has to transmit these values ​​to the rest of the group, so that all row in the same direction.

4. Values

In many of the companies and groups there is this lack when transmitting certain values. Corporatism is very important in the development of a business, and leadership must set an example and reinforce the company's principles .

5. Knowledge

The leader, more than anyone else, has to demonstrate absolute knowledge of the subject matter. This is the added value that respect for other team members will imply. It is very important to justify leadership for own merits and fitness .

6. Trust

Another of the last elements to demonstrate good leadership. The head of the group must show confidence in the capacities of the other members, and ask them about how to make or break.

7. Learning

As much as knowledge is a quality of any candidate to lead or lead a determined group, Extra learning never hurts . Above all, learning from the same group members, there must be feedback from both parties and a good leader needs to listen to others to grow professionally.

Why does this phenomenon appear?

All this responds to a generational evolution in all aspects. Sociology has been in charge of demonstrating that we are heading towards a more collectivist, less hierarchical society in which consensus is more valued.

In this way, this has also been transferred and applied in the business field. Our parents' times were different. Decades ago the boss was the highest authority , no matter too much the needs of each worker. This archaic way of managing a group of people was often discussed.

Empathic leadership arises from a need to improve productive performance combined with a change of values ​​at the social level . It is necessary to give a personal and individual value to each of the individuals that are part of a group.

Thus, numerous studies and reports have highlighted the effectiveness and productivity of implementing an empathic leadership model, being the only one that can respond to different needs and concerns to increase group welfare.

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Brené Brown on Empathy (November 2022).


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