Empathy Is The Key To Leadership In A Remote Setting

Andy Charters
.
August 23, 2023
Mindset & Growth

The ability to empathize is an essential soft skill.

Understanding someone else's position means putting yourself in their shoes.

Humanity depends on sharing and connecting with others.

Last year, the world's largest economic crisis lead to every leader reevaluating their leadership style and adapting it to the new working environment.

These leaders realized that humanity is more necessary today than ever.

So far, what are the biggest challenges facing leaders?

How does empathy lead to the greatest benefits? Last but not least, what are some best practices to follow?

In A Remote Environment, Empathy Is A Challenge

empathy

Empathy can be expressed in many ways.

Getting close to someone makes it easier to do.

When working remotely, how does this work?

Although challenging, it is still possible.

It's natural for employees to worry about remote work and how their managers manage them.

According to 21% of the workers, their supervisors constantly evaluate their work, while 34% said their managers don't trust their abilities.

Some workers said they have to be available all the time.

What’s the outcome?

Several employees experience high levels of anxiety at work.

The remote work experience becomes even more challenging for those working in circumstances with additional pressures, such as having children at home due to home study.

Many managers were caught by surprise by the transition to remote work.

As a result, many workers feel mistrusted and micromanaged by their managers.

It's a disaster waiting to happen!

The good news is that managers can take steps to increase workplace empathy and support their employees.

Follow along as we look at the top benefits of leadership through empathy.

Workplace Empathy: It's a Win-Win

Being a leader is a challenging task, and including empathy in the equation may seem like overkill.

According to a recent Businessolver survey, 76% of employees agree that empathizing inspires them to be more motivated. The same survey indicates that:

  • 73% of respondents would switch jobs, industries, or career paths for a leader who is empathetic.

  • 83% would leave their current job for a similar position at a company that has a more empathic culture.

  • Approximately 75% of employees prefer employers who foster empathy over employers who pay slightly higher wages.

Employees aren't the only ones who benefit from empathy.

We discovered in this study that CEOs associate their companies' financial success with empathy practices as well.

As technology advances and the demands increase, people often forget how crucial it is to reconnect with others in a changing world.

There is growing evidence that empathizing in the workplace will improve the culture, productivity, innovation, and profitability of organizations.

Leadership in a New Generation

leadership1

A leader's role is to reach out to others.

You practice empathy to determine whether or not the people you are seeking to reach are reachable.

When you have empathy for your employees, you will be able to strategize and make the right decisions.

Leaders can cultivate and train the next generation of leaders by showing empathy.

One very critical aspect of empathizing must be considered when managers and leaders put it into practice.

It means understanding how someone else feels in their shoes, not how we feel.

Empathy is putting yourself in another's shoes in order to empathize with them.

Empathy is one of the most important attributes of successful leaders in the modern workplace.

Cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and empathetic concerns are the three components of empathy.

  • Recognizing the other person's point of view and finding ways to acknowledge their feelings are all part of acting with empathetic concerns. This entails adjusting your communication in such a way that it welcomes and supports the other person.

  • Cognitive Empathy means being able to understand another person's perspective on the world without adopting it. We don't have to adopt their perspective, just comprehend it.

  • Affective Empathy involves feeling with other people's emotions and being aware of what they are feeling.

Communication can be smoother, collaboration can be more effective, and conflicts can be reduced if empathy is practiced.

Tips for Empathetic Leadership from a Distance

Working remotely offers the convenience of working from the comfort of our homes.

However, leaders may have a hard time showing empathy when working remotely.

Leaders have their own ways of leading and must remember that each one has their own specific team to lead.

Check out these great tips for leading a remote team:

Building an open communication culture begins with listening first

While inspiring and motivating their team to perform better is a very important role, leaders forget that the most important action they need to take first is to listen first.

The agenda of any good leader should include a time when they listen to the feedback of their employees.

  • Keep your body language in check when the employee shares information. Avoid snapping or raising your voice when the employee shares information.

  • Clarify what the employee has said and repeat what you heard back.

  • Appreciate the information shared.

  • When the employee is speaking, do not interrupt. Take notes and then give them tips or even guidelines on how to improve their performance.

  • Get rid of all distractions, including your phone, and put everything away that might distract you from the conversation.

Be Open-Minded and Compassionate

Leaders have a strong presence.

They believe that having a strong personality is a sign of strength.

Sadly, they overlook an important point: we are all human, and we all have rough days.

Vulnerability doesn't mean we lack strength, it actually indicates that we have the strength to share those moments with the people we trust.

And trust is the basis of a strong relationship.

Make sure that you are open to sharing struggles and even mistakes with others so that they can open up.

While the other participants share their issues, listen attentively, and show understanding.

Keep the camera open during meetings so the others can see your attention.

Attend meetings and pay attention to signs

While it may not be easy to understand each other over a screen, video conferencing is a valuable tool for remote workers.

Using this method, managers can learn more about their employees' emotional states and communication styles.

Rather than jumping to conclusions too fast, take some time to analyze what lies beneath the surface of the conversation and consider the challenges that the employee is facing.

Do something if you notice someone getting distracted, not engaging, or doing other things instead.

Make sure you keep in touch, find out what happened, and offer to help.

This will earn you their trust, which in turn will lead to good results.

Be Approachable

You are a leader who leads remotely. Every time your employees encounter a problem, they cannot just come to your office and ask you to fix it.

You can't expect them to travel a thousand miles just to see you. However, they can send you a direct message in Slack or an email.

You can make this easier for your remote workers by setting up several channels for them to communicate with you.

Getting the other person to feel comfortable and open to communication is your goal.

During this process, employees will become more comfortable sharing all kinds of important information with you.

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Full-Stack Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking a passionate Full-Stack Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack Laravel/Vue Developer (Jr to Mid)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full Stack .Net Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full-Stack Node/VueJS Developer (Mid - Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer (Mid to Senior)

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate mid to senior-level Fullstack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer Tech Lead

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate Lead Full-Stack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full stack RoR/VueJS Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Fullstack Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Fullstack .NET Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Lead/Senior Frontend Developer (UI/UX) - Brazil

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned business established eight years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent worldwide with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines and Brazil as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Marketing Specialists

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Backend Developer (Python)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Senior Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Empathy Is The Key To Leadership In A Remote Setting

February 16, 2024

The ability to empathize is an essential soft skill.

Understanding someone else's position means putting yourself in their shoes.

Humanity depends on sharing and connecting with others.

Last year, the world's largest economic crisis lead to every leader reevaluating their leadership style and adapting it to the new working environment.

These leaders realized that humanity is more necessary today than ever.

So far, what are the biggest challenges facing leaders?

How does empathy lead to the greatest benefits? Last but not least, what are some best practices to follow?

In A Remote Environment, Empathy Is A Challenge

empathy

Empathy can be expressed in many ways.

Getting close to someone makes it easier to do.

When working remotely, how does this work?

Although challenging, it is still possible.

It's natural for employees to worry about remote work and how their managers manage them.

According to 21% of the workers, their supervisors constantly evaluate their work, while 34% said their managers don't trust their abilities.

Some workers said they have to be available all the time.

What’s the outcome?

Several employees experience high levels of anxiety at work.

The remote work experience becomes even more challenging for those working in circumstances with additional pressures, such as having children at home due to home study.

Many managers were caught by surprise by the transition to remote work.

As a result, many workers feel mistrusted and micromanaged by their managers.

It's a disaster waiting to happen!

The good news is that managers can take steps to increase workplace empathy and support their employees.

Follow along as we look at the top benefits of leadership through empathy.

Workplace Empathy: It's a Win-Win

Being a leader is a challenging task, and including empathy in the equation may seem like overkill.

According to a recent Businessolver survey, 76% of employees agree that empathizing inspires them to be more motivated. The same survey indicates that:

  • 73% of respondents would switch jobs, industries, or career paths for a leader who is empathetic.

  • 83% would leave their current job for a similar position at a company that has a more empathic culture.

  • Approximately 75% of employees prefer employers who foster empathy over employers who pay slightly higher wages.

Employees aren't the only ones who benefit from empathy.

We discovered in this study that CEOs associate their companies' financial success with empathy practices as well.

As technology advances and the demands increase, people often forget how crucial it is to reconnect with others in a changing world.

There is growing evidence that empathizing in the workplace will improve the culture, productivity, innovation, and profitability of organizations.

Leadership in a New Generation

leadership1

A leader's role is to reach out to others.

You practice empathy to determine whether or not the people you are seeking to reach are reachable.

When you have empathy for your employees, you will be able to strategize and make the right decisions.

Leaders can cultivate and train the next generation of leaders by showing empathy.

One very critical aspect of empathizing must be considered when managers and leaders put it into practice.

It means understanding how someone else feels in their shoes, not how we feel.

Empathy is putting yourself in another's shoes in order to empathize with them.

Empathy is one of the most important attributes of successful leaders in the modern workplace.

Cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and empathetic concerns are the three components of empathy.

  • Recognizing the other person's point of view and finding ways to acknowledge their feelings are all part of acting with empathetic concerns. This entails adjusting your communication in such a way that it welcomes and supports the other person.

  • Cognitive Empathy means being able to understand another person's perspective on the world without adopting it. We don't have to adopt their perspective, just comprehend it.

  • Affective Empathy involves feeling with other people's emotions and being aware of what they are feeling.

Communication can be smoother, collaboration can be more effective, and conflicts can be reduced if empathy is practiced.

Tips for Empathetic Leadership from a Distance

Working remotely offers the convenience of working from the comfort of our homes.

However, leaders may have a hard time showing empathy when working remotely.

Leaders have their own ways of leading and must remember that each one has their own specific team to lead.

Check out these great tips for leading a remote team:

Building an open communication culture begins with listening first

While inspiring and motivating their team to perform better is a very important role, leaders forget that the most important action they need to take first is to listen first.

The agenda of any good leader should include a time when they listen to the feedback of their employees.

  • Keep your body language in check when the employee shares information. Avoid snapping or raising your voice when the employee shares information.

  • Clarify what the employee has said and repeat what you heard back.

  • Appreciate the information shared.

  • When the employee is speaking, do not interrupt. Take notes and then give them tips or even guidelines on how to improve their performance.

  • Get rid of all distractions, including your phone, and put everything away that might distract you from the conversation.

Be Open-Minded and Compassionate

Leaders have a strong presence.

They believe that having a strong personality is a sign of strength.

Sadly, they overlook an important point: we are all human, and we all have rough days.

Vulnerability doesn't mean we lack strength, it actually indicates that we have the strength to share those moments with the people we trust.

And trust is the basis of a strong relationship.

Make sure that you are open to sharing struggles and even mistakes with others so that they can open up.

While the other participants share their issues, listen attentively, and show understanding.

Keep the camera open during meetings so the others can see your attention.

Attend meetings and pay attention to signs

While it may not be easy to understand each other over a screen, video conferencing is a valuable tool for remote workers.

Using this method, managers can learn more about their employees' emotional states and communication styles.

Rather than jumping to conclusions too fast, take some time to analyze what lies beneath the surface of the conversation and consider the challenges that the employee is facing.

Do something if you notice someone getting distracted, not engaging, or doing other things instead.

Make sure you keep in touch, find out what happened, and offer to help.

This will earn you their trust, which in turn will lead to good results.

Be Approachable

You are a leader who leads remotely. Every time your employees encounter a problem, they cannot just come to your office and ask you to fix it.

You can't expect them to travel a thousand miles just to see you. However, they can send you a direct message in Slack or an email.

You can make this easier for your remote workers by setting up several channels for them to communicate with you.

Getting the other person to feel comfortable and open to communication is your goal.

During this process, employees will become more comfortable sharing all kinds of important information with you.

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