Empathy is a desirable character in a leader since you must understand where the shoe pinches to improve a negative situation. Likewise, in a group of people, you must be in tune with their problems to facilitate meaningful change. On the flip side, the leadership process experiences its fair share of bottlenecks that can rob your attention away from the community. Nevertheless, you can remedy this and relay your devotion to the institution. Here’s how to do it:
Be a Good Listener
The simplest way to express empathy is to be an attentive listener. You don’t always have to solve every problem, and many people aren’t looking for one either. Whether you’ll be dealing with students, staff, or even administrators, almost everyone has an instinctive need to air out their problems.
If you aren’t enthusiastic about listening to other people’s problems or even their opinion, you’ll likely appear snobbish and uninterested in the greater good. Nobody will trust your leadership if you rarely have time for their problems.
Appreciate Your Team
Another way to avoid becoming a self-centered leader is to recognize the group’s effort. For example, a college basketball team will only win a tournament if everyone thinks about the bigger picture. Likewise, it takes a combined effort from the staff and students to attain the institution’s goals. Therefore, you would be better off appreciating the sacrifice.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to show gratitude to your team. You can get personal with one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders. However, this approach will likely take time, and you can consider subtle gestures like a note or other gifts. Such kind gestures encourage the team to better their efforts since they understand that you are looking out for their best interest.
Prioritize Long-term Growth
Educational institutions encourage personal development across multiple fields like sports, arts, and academia. Nevertheless, it is not always a rosy affair, as failure is often unavoidable. During an upset, true leaders set themselves apart by offering a guiding hand.
As long as you are the team leader, you or your team will eventually experience some setbacks. However, it would be best to discourage self-pity and instead apply more pressure. Remember, as diamonds are hewn from rough stones, the right challenge usually begets outstanding results.
American president Theodore Roosevelt once remarked how people would only appreciate your counsel once they know that you care about them. Therefore, empathy and leadership are intertwined, especially in an educational setup. You must be in touch with every member, appreciate their effort, and guide them even when a positive outcome is hard to come by. Most people will want to associate with an empathetic leader since they are in tune with the community’s problems. Also, you’ll quickly generate trust and guide your team to success.
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