Many traits create a successful and effective leader. Skills and expertise are a large part of those traits and are completely necessary to be a good leader, but there are other important aspects that come into play. Having the ability to create relationships within the workplace and have compassion and empathy towards your employees makes you a great leader.

In order to create a productive and healthy work environment, leadership must adhere to the rules of human life and practice empathy towards their employees. Employees work best under leadership that gives them the opportunity to have their voice heard. Creating a culture that allows a safe and open space for others to stress their point of view will ensure a happier and more productive team.

Unfortunately, many leaders do not adhere to these standards and practice more of a dominant role in striking fear in their subordinates while playing games to stress their point. These types of leadership tactics, despite the level of skill these leaders may have, can be toxic and cause high-quality employees to move on from the company. It is essential to learn to be more empathetic and compassionate for the good of your leadership and team.

Luckily, for leaders struggling with empathy in the workplace, there are some great ways to hone in on the skills you already have. One of the best ways to practice empathy is by taking time to listen more and talk less. All employees want to make sure they are being heard and it’s essential to give them the opportunity to do so. Leadership can assess needs and figure out how to create a better working environment moving forward, as long as they listen to their employees.

One of the other great ways to practice empathy is by being curious about your employees. Curiosity can lead to you finding out more about your employees and their lives. Take the time to reach out to each one individually and spend time getting to know them. Asking appropriate personal questions is a way to engage more and let them know you care about them and their wellbeing.

Great leadership includes the skill and mindset needed to be an effective leader as well as the empathy and compassion to be a successful one. Working on areas that are lacking can help create success in your office and make you someone that everyone can count on to support them when they need it most.

Originally published at on March 15, 2019.