Three ways empathy can supercharge your career

Group of employees working togetther in office

By Mimi Nicklin, author of Softening the Edge

Empathy is not to be simply looked at as a nice-to-have in today’s competitive workplace, but a powerful tool that can propel your career to new heights and help you stand out from the crowd.

It goes far beyond what many consider to be a soft skill, enabling you to build strong relationships, gain valuable insights, and become a well-respected leader in your organisation.

In a business context, empathetic leaders view their teams as more than their output and act in support of the needs of others. They understand that everyone has a different range of experiences, strengths and weaknesses which shape how they see the world, and will put in place support which allows their employees to work in a way that suits their reality best – be that offering greater flexibility, additional resources, or similar support.

Here are three ways empathy can supercharge your career:

Empathy works across the entire organisation

Empathy is not just limited to your interactions with colleagues and peers, it can also be applied upwardly to leaders and bosses. By understanding and connecting with the perspectives and concerns of your managers, you can build stronger relationships and gain recognition as someone who is engaged and interested in their role. This can lead to more opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization. When you show empathy towards your boss, you not only create a better working relationship but also help them to understand your own perspective, making it easier to collaborate and work effectively together.

The more you know, the more you grow

Asking questions and being curious about the perspectives and opinions of others is an essential part of building empathy. This curiosity can also drive your career by providing you with valuable insights and information. By actively seeking out different perspectives and understanding the challenges faced by your colleagues and clients, you can make informed decisions that can lead to career growth and advancement. Curiosity can also help you spot opportunities and identify areas where you can make a difference, giving you an edge in your career and an insight into potential moves that could put you on a new and exciting path.

Listening builds excellent rapport

Being empathetic means being a good listener. When you show empathy towards your colleagues and teams, you create an environment of trust and understanding. This can help you become a trusted and sought-after teammate and leader, as those who feel heard are more likely to engage and trust in their leadership. By listening to your colleagues and teams, you can also gain helpful insights into their needs and concerns, which can help you to identify areas where you can make a real difference and offer tailored support to help everyone be at their best. This can lead to more opportunities for development within your team, as well as benefitting the growth of the organisation.

By embracing empathy and demonstrating it toward your colleagues, leaders, and clients, you can boost your career and establish yourself as a respected leader and teammate. So, the next time you find yourself in a meeting or collaborating on a project, take a moment to listen, consider the viewpoints of others and show empathy towards them. You might be surprised at how a simple act can supercharge your career.

Mimi NicklinAbout the author

Mimi Nicklin is the Founder and Chief Executive of Freedm, an empathy advocate & best-selling author of Softening the Edge.

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