The art of being a leader - how empathy can lead to success

Ramesha Perera
Mon 04 Mar

We all know time is money and when you’re leading a team, you’d be willing to empty your pockets to get some time back. But the most influential leaders in history share three traits: confidence, empathy and integrity.  

These leaders know intuitively know how to listen. Using empathy and mindfulness to be present during every interaction. Their focus and commitment to the goal lets them shelve their egos and receive feedback with grace, inspiring innovation at every level.  



There is a big difference between leadership and management. Management refers to someone who is responsible for a group of people who are aligned with a common goal or task. Leadership, however, is a method of interacting with others that contributes to them achieving a goal. People choose to follow a leader they’re forced to follow management. One of the most significant differences between leadership and management is empathy. Leaders understand the feelings, desires, and motivations of others to leverage it to how they teach, learn, encourage and build trust - Empathy is key to being a better leader.  



A good leader will use active listening skills to ensure all members have a voice. The active listener will interject deliberate pauses to give the other person the space to respond or add more detail. Active listening indicates that you are interested in the conversation and want to hear all the person has to say. You do not appear hurried, and they do not feel rushed. Active listeners also use emotional labeling to assign attributes to the information they hear. Everyone is different and successful leaders know this and avoid passing judgment on other people’s behavior or comments as they communicate with them - Active listening aids good leadership. 

Not only are great leaders respected, but they also show genuine respect for others, and this helps to build trust and foster healthy communication. Genuinely caring about others is a hallmark trait of an exceptional leader. When you care, you tend to show more interest, listen more effectively, and consider everyone’s feelings when making decisions. Remeber leadership isn't a science but an art that you can learn to emulate and build upon. 

For more leadership tips check out Innovation Management.