Are strong emotions from others overwhelming to you? Do you cringe when the vocal noise level or tone of voice suddenly changes abruptly in the space you are occupying? Have you considered undertaking self-flagellation for feeling so sensitive to certain environments and personalities?
-Your Answers Decoded-
If you answered, “yes” to at least two of the three questions posed, you might be highly empathic. Contrary to your personal past apprehensions, being someone who is naturally aware of others emotional states is not a detriment to climbing the corporate ladder. In fact, it heightens your candidacy as a great present or potential manager.
Hmm, interesting, right? Don’t be alarmed if the news makes you pause and wonder, “Uh, what does that mean and how does it affect my propensity for a successful career as a manager?”
I am glad you asked or hypothetically asked for the sake of the next thought emerging. Being highly empathic has impacted, impacts and will impact every aspect of your professional life. However, the extent it determines your career trajectory, is up to you.
Allow me to empower you to harness your ability to reflect empathy as your greatest asset. Your talent to see and perceive the world through the eyes and mind of another translates to the best-kept secret to success in business. Is your curiosity piqued yet?
-Psst, What’s The Secret?-
Prepare for the reveal: It is so simple that most of us never consider it.
Question: What does being highly empathic permit you to do with ease? The answer: To meet another where he or she is at in the present moment.
That’s it. Now, you know everything you need to know in order to achieve career success as a highly empathic manager.
Wait…you didn’t really think I’d leave you hanging, did you? Fear not kind reader, I will do my best to meet you where you are and expand upon what I stated earlier.
For highly empathic people it is second nature to make allowances and offer a wide berth of space around another’s behaviors and emotions. Isn’t this what we all seek from our ideal career situations and experiences? Don’t we all desire to be who we are without judgment from others?
Visualize with me the following “Utopian” scenario: As an employee, you wake-up each day, full of hope and promise. You are eager to arrive to work because you know you will be greeted by space from your empathic manager to explore projects that interest you and to expand your knowledgebase.
Likewise, envision the same two employees: manager and subordinate, from the manager’s point of view: You awaken each day full of happiness and compassion. You are eager to arrive to work, extending compassion and empathy that is innate within you to your subordinates.
Even though two separate “characters” are mentioned in the above example, they both share the same motivation: desiring the freedom to “be.” The subordinate wishes to be seen and valued for who she or he is by superiors. Likewise, the manager craves the freedom to reflect who he or she is by extending empathy to less senior team members.
Empathy creates space for another to “be” without interference. This does not mean that management can’t guide their staff or challenge them to develop a deeper skill set. It only requires that management should undertake these goal assignments without preconceived judgments.
Remember: Empathy and judgment cannot coexist.
For potential new hires or for internal promotions to management positions, I encourage HR to target individuals with strong empathic tendencies. Junior employees will thrive under the compassionate guidance and latitude offered by an empathic manager.
The organization on the whole will also flourish due to the manager’s expansive strategy: meeting everyone where they are and empowering each person to evolve into what he or she wants to be. Bottom line: There is no greater return on your investment than enabling your team to produce results worthy of their highest abilities.
What more could any business aspire to gain or any employee hope to receive?
If you are a highly empathic professional, then you already have the key to unlock your potential for present or future success as a manager. Granting space to your subordinates to express who they are empowers everyone to experience their ideal hypothetical as the actual reality.
What other traits crucial for success as a manager complement being highly empathic?
This post was originally published via LinkedIn