Empathic Leadership 

Empathic leadership is the ability to understand and acknowledge the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of others, which helps create an environment where team members feel valued, heard, and understood. (Hannah L. Miller,2022) This in turn helps to develop strong relationships and can help provide a sense of belonging to an organization.  

There are many reasons to practice empathetic leadership. Some of the key ones as an employer may be: 

  • Better motivated and inspired employees: When leaders build healthy relationships with their employees, they can better understand what inspires, drives, or motivates their team members and support them in realizing their aspirations.  
  • Prevent work burnout and job stress: Lack of empathy in the workplace can lead to poor physical and mental health in employees, low production, high turnover, and increased levels of absenteeism. As an empathetic leader, you can help to create a safe work environment where people feel their well-being is a priority. 
  • Increase employee engagement and productivity: Leaders who demonstrate care, concern, and understanding for employees’ life circumstances outside of work, as well as help their teams to adjust to shifting work obligations, contribute to increased engagement and levels of productivity. 

Some tips for leaders to create a more inclusive, transparent, and safe organizational culture: 

  • Practice active listening. Offer undivided attention while you make eye contact with relaxed and open body language. 
  • Listening to understand, rather than to “solve.” Repeat or paraphrase “What I’m hearing is…” or “It sounds like you’re feeling…?” to confirm the message received. Listening doesn’t mean you’re agreeing. 
  • Imagine how a colleague is feeling from their unique perspective, making room for diversity of experiences. 
  • Reduce assumptions and misunderstandings while you base your observations objectively and acknowledge the other person’s emotions.

Being an empathic leader can take practice. But taking the time to understand the perspectives of your team, what motivates them, and their concerns, will support a healthy workplace culture.  


Hannah L. Miller, 2022, Why Empathetic Leadership Is the Most Effective Leadership Style, LEADERS 

Why Empathetic Leadership Is the Most Effective Leadership Style