How To Become an Empathetic Leader In Your Place of Work



When you get promoted at work to a leadership position, it can be an exciting time. You will have more of a role in how the workplace runs, you will make more money and you may even be the head of a team.

As you can imagine, the last point is where most of the issues will arise. Managing a team in theory is very different from doing so in person. If you already had something of a leadership role before your promotion, this may not be a large change to your role but if you are new to leading people, you may have some questions about how to do so most effectively.

In recent years, the most successful bosses, managers, and supervisors are those who have adopted a more empathetic role towards their staff. In this article, you will be introduced to some things you will need to practice to become a successful, empathetic leader.

Better Listening

There is a difference between listening and active listening, and this can make it a hard skill to learn. Luckily, there are some courses available to help you home in on this skill, such as an online education doctoral program in leadership.

Better listening skills will help to build better workplace relationships, which will in turn help your staff to feel valued and appreciated.


Suppose you have a member of staff whose work has begun to slip below its usual quality. In years gone by, a supervisor or a boss would become angry at this development and may even threaten this staff member with disciplinary action or even firing. As you can imagine, this is not a great way to approach this issue, and often resulted in staff members quitting their job.

In modern management, you would do well to show a bit of empathy. Ask the team member if they are unwell, if they have troubles at home and what you can do to help them. Empathy can help the staff members feel more respected and cared for and will help them to reach out when they feel stuck.


Assessing the outcome of meetings, staff talks and even department disputes are some of the other skills that an empathetic leader will practice regularly.

Reflecting on your own actions, and that of your team will allow you to see where there is a need for change, in yourself and others.

No Judgment!

The last thing you want to do as a leader is put yourself on a high horse. Accept that there are members of your team who have their own strengths and weaknesses and encourage them to do better. Do not berate or judge them, as this will cause them to feel alienated and will shatter comradery. If you have a member of your team who has broken the law, unless it directly impacts your place of work, leave judgment at the door and offer them support.

Identify Red Flags

Part of being a good leader overall is being able to identify red flags in your team. Bring them to the surface as soon as possible and talk them out calmly with your team. If legal action is needed, then seek it out but as before reserve judgment if possible.