LISTENING, EMPATHY, AND COMPASSION: THESE ARE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO BE A STRONG LEADER TODAY

By November 27, 2019A Note from Shelley
Compassionate Empathy in Action

(NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2019) – A Note from Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Are listening, empathy and compassion the strong skills needed in leadership today? I think so.

Listening may be hard if you really like to talk!  

Of these strong skills, listening can be a challenge for some leadership. For example, listening may be hard for those who really like to talk. Listening is difficult for habitual interrupters. And listening is practically impossible for the digitally (or otherwise) distracted. However, I’ve found listening is a vital skill that I’ve personally worked hard to perfect. Listening is one of the greatest tools we can employ in business. We are so veiled by our perceptions that it is hard to truly open our ears and minds to what others are saying. For example, “ready to listen” is what Chris Voss says is the most effective way to go into negotiations. Never Split the Difference, Voss’ book, enlightens the readers to listening as the key component in mastering a negotiation.

Here’s a twelve minute video of Chris’ Tedx Talk Never Split the Difference

Empathy and listening go hand in hand. 

How can you be a truly good listener without having an appreciation for the other person’s point of view? Many people (and leaders) bucket empathy in with “soft skills” and mistakenly think of it as “being nice” or trying to “make people happy”. This is far from the truth. In this Forbes article the following quote says it all: 

“Empathy enables you to know if the people you’re trying to reach are actually reached.  It allows you to predict the effect your decisions and actions will have on core audiences and strategize accordingly.  Without empathy, you can’t build a team or nurture a new generation of leaders. You will not inspire followers or elicit loyalty. Empathy is essential in negotiations and sales:  it allows you to know your target’s desires and what risks they are or aren’t willing to take.”

Compassionate Empathy the strongest leadership skill.

Compassionate empathy is leadership strength in action. Recently, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern remarked that ‘It takes strength to be an empathetic leader’. Moreover, Ardern’s leadership style is an example to follow. Of the three types of empathy, cognitive, emotional, and compassionate; Ardern clearly has employed compassionate empathy in her response to her constituents needs. 

The Cornerstones: Leadership, Listening, Empathy, and Compassion 

SanovaWorks is a company built on the principles of listening, empathy, and compassion. As a remote company, these cornerstones are imperatives in our daily operations. Without first fully listening and tapping into the needs of our teams, we would not be able to provide the highest level of service and products for our clients. Our leadership style ensures job satisfaction, and peak performance for our clients. Win, Win, Win!

Shelley Tanner, President and CEO SanovaWorks

Articles for Reference:  

How Can You Be Sure Someone Is Fit to Be a Leader? It Comes Down to 1 Word

Empathy Is An Essential Leadership Skill — And There’s Nothing Soft About It

Empathy: The Most Important Leadership Skill Needed Today