- Organizational Awareness
- Relationship Management
the importance of empathy
By Dean Crisp
Greetings to all,
In finishing up Pillar 2: Emotional Intelligence as one of the four pillars of leadership, this week we will discuss the fourth component of Emotional Intelligence, Empathy or Relationship Management. To recap, emotional intelligence is the 2nd main pillar of my four pillars of leadership. Originally created by the work of Daniel Goleman in the 1990s, Goleman found that the leaders who effectively possessed and used the four components of emotional intelligence actually succeed far beyond those with higher intellectual intelligence or IQ. So as a reminder, the four components of EQ, emotional intelligence, include self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and this week’s component, empathy or relationship management.
So what is relationship management or empathy? In short, it is the ability to successfully manage social interactions with others. In reality, it is the ability to behave in ways that foster good relationships and outcomes with others. This is a tough one and often the most difficult for leaders to master. Just as self-awareness is easier to accomplish than self-management, one can be socially aware, but not possess the self-control to management their interpersonal relationships effectively. This was one of the most difficult for me as a leader. Becoming a leader at a young age meant that I viewed my relationship with others I led as that of a linear operation. I spoke, they did. It wasn’t until I realized that truly effective leadership meant developing a relationship with those I led created a partnership with them that led to greater synergy – I speak out this more in my LRPS model in my book, Leadership Lessons from the Thin Blue Line. By truly working on developing empathy for others (and many of us struggle with this), I found that I began to develop more meaningful relationships both at work and in my personal life. To empathize is to take the time to listen to another and to put yourself in their shoes and try to see things from their point of view. While this is not an easy feat, it is vital to developing and growing your EQ as a leader. Working on this will truly grow you as a leader. It’s taking into account that you are not the center of all activity and feelings and that you as a leader have an obligation to see things from another’s perspective. In doing so, you will truly mature as a person and a leader.
In summation of this Pillar 2, Emotional Intelligence is comprised of four components – two focused on self; two focused on others. First, there is awareness, self- awareness and social awareness and then there is management of one’s self and one’s relationships with others. I firmly believe this Pillar is what separates the truly mature, effective, intentional leader, from the rest. Knowing and understanding where you are in each of these components and taking measures to effectively advance your EQ in each area, will grow you as a leader, but more importantly as a person.