The case for empathy when leading through uncertainty
1 min read
Empathy and perspective. The two traits that, according to Simon Sinek, make great leaders. Change is a constant in every workplace but in 2023, elevated levels of uncertainty coupled with economic challenges and rising inflation add an extra level of challenge for anyone in a leadership role.
For one, keeping a team actively engaged and unlocking potential when everything is unclear is hard.
But there's a lot to be said for being honest about what you don't know in leadership and having empathy for your teams who have already been through so much change since 2020.
Acknowledging this fact can highlight where adaptive and resilient behaviours are already present, and it should also reinforce the impact of your own leadership in tough times.
Simon Sinek also says that not everyone is meant to lead. And, traditionally promotions occurred because of time spent in a role and technical expertise. But in the years since, soft skills have since become increasingly important and those who communicate and connect will stand out and succeed. To be this kind of person, you need to be self-aware and have empathy for others.
In some organisations, there are structured leadership programs and support for navigating change and uncertainty. But this is not always the case.
So, if this article is read by anyone who is struggling to lead in today's environment – don’t discount all the things you’ve already been through and learnt about your team over the last few years.
Even if you’re feeling unsure, you will very likely be doing a better job than you think.