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Empathy is a leadership skill | Cynthia Farrell | 110 West Group

Leaders: We know empathy is an important leadership skill–the most important, according to this Forbes article. Expectations on leaders to show and lead with empathy are higher than ever. But let’s be honest:

Empathy can be hard, especially at work. 

It doesn’t have to be.

I’ll be the first person to raise my hand and admit I’ve often struggled in situations where empathy is appropriate to know what to say or to respond in a way that feels genuine. 

It’s one thing to say “be empathetic to be a good leader.” But what are we doing to help our leaders–and ourselves–build our empathetic muscle?

A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet Kelsey Crowe, the co-author of the amazing book, There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love. This book has been instrumental in my own empathy journey, and I highly recommend giving it a read.

I was excited to learn that Kelsey also offers a pioneering program on building empathy, Empathy Bootcamp. Kelsey’s program builds an understanding of what empathy looks and sounds like, what holds us back from expressing empathy, and how to express empathy in a variety of situations.

When it comes to managers and leaders, as it says on the website, “Knowing what to do and say when employees face tough personal struggles prevents tough workplace problems later.”

I’m excited to partner with Kelsey to bring this program into more organizations, as it aligns with my passion point on what makes a great leader.

Kelsey says it simply and best: empathy is a skill, and you can build it.

If you’d like to explore how this program could impact your company–to go beyond telling your leaders to “be empathetic” and actually supporting them in that effort–reach out and we’ll coordinate a conversation with Kelsey.

Empathy can be hard, especially at work, but it doesn’t have to be.

What do you think? Should we invest in helping leaders build their empathy skills?


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