Lead with Empathy
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
This past week author Harper Lee passed away and the quote above is one of the more famous from her work. As leaders it should serve as great reminder. Sometimes we can get caught up in our skin and fail to understand those we lead may see things differently. They may have motives we don’t fully understand. They may have concerns we have no awareness of.
These driving and restraining forces in their minds shape not only who they are but how they respond to any and all situations they are in. It is pretty universally understood that before anyone can fully commit to what is important to us they must see that it aligns with what is important to them. Therefore leaders need to guard against making assumptions as to what a team member values and finds motivational. Leadership begins by understanding who you are leading and connecting their values and motivations to those of the team.
Do yourself a favor and move further and faster toward your goals by taking the time to understand what is going on in the ‘skin’ of those looking you have the privilege to lead.