Leadership is about seeing and hearing others, setting a direction, and then letting go of controlling what happens next.
Employees with leaders who show either wisdom or compassion have net positive experiences across the board. They enjoy and are engaged with their jobs and less likely to burn out. But, when a leader demonstrates both wisdom and compassion, job satisfaction of his employee is 86% higher in comparison with an employee who doesn’t work for that kind of leader. (R. Hougaard and J. Carter, 2021).
Leading with this combination of wisdom and compassion isn’t easy. It takes learning and practice. To foster this type of leadership approach, it is critical to acknowledge that we are human beings, wanting to connect on a human level with other people.
To be able to foster honest and genuine relationships with people we must be able to understand their perspectives and emotions as well as understand our reactions, know our own triggers and being able to keep our behaviour in line with the situation. We have to demonstrate control over ourselves. We must know our strengths and weaknesses. Putting it simply; we have to develop our Emotional Intelligence.
Making the effort to understand and relate to others includes active listening. When you truly listen to others, they feel heard and seen, which satisfies one of our primary needs as humans. If you can listen intently, with an open mind and a willingness to learn you can genuinely help others.
Leadership is not about trying to please people and make them feel content and at ease. Leader ship is about supporting people in things they may not want to face. If done with compassion and understanding, uncomfortable conversations may be the tool for leaders to stretch people as an indication of true belief in their potential.
Leaders should never underestimate the impact they have on people and with it, a huge responsibility. Focusing on helping individuals develop and grow by supporting them with training, development opportunities, and providing the right guidance and the right time, is key. When you bring all those elements together and do the hard work of leadership in a human way, you have the recipe for success. You will be positively impacting people’s work experience, their sense of commitment, and their job performance.
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