Dr Zara Whysall, Research & Impact Director at Kiddy & Partners June 19 2023

Moving beyond empathetic leadership

In the penultimate piece looking at the 5 tensions, this week we discuss moving beyond traditional empathetic leadership.

We have defined enlightened empathy vs. leap of faith as the penultimate tension within our Rapid Evolution methodology.

Enlightened empathy involves understanding the underlying needs and feelings of employees and customers so that you can go beyond their immediate tactical needs to predict what they may benefit from or value in future. It is not simply about being data-driven, but about going beyond the data to walk in their shoes, share their experience to create a deeper level of understanding. 

Leaders who achieve this go beyond simplistic metrics to deeply understand their customers and employees. They spend tremendous energy developing their empathetic leadership, which enables them to act upon their intuition. 

This depth of understanding is essential for stating ahead of the curve because it enables them to make an informed leap of faith - this is about taking a deep understanding of customers and employees' real experiences, but then going beyond the data by adding a spark of creativity and foresight. Only by doing this is it possible to lead rather than follow. It's a leap of faith since it's about creating a need that customers and employees didn't even know that they want until they saw it - but it's far from a blind leap.

Rapid Evolution especially requires that his principle is applied internally, n terms of the company's learning and development or talent management strategy. For Rapid Evolution, we need to support each individual to step pout of their comfort zone and be moving towards their potential. Having a strong belief in potential means trusting people and giving them the stretching opportunites to grow with the company, and in doing so, to achieve things they may not have thought they were capable of. The organisation will evolve at a faster rate if each individual within it is growing and evolving along with it.

In our final blog looking at the five tensions next week we will cover diverse communities vs. unified alignment, before we turn our focus to implementing these within your organisation.

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