According to a 2016 Journal of Business Ethics study, leaders who had negative intentions prompted counterproductive work behaviors. Leaders who communicate with care show they’re personally invested in their teams as they provide compassionate and direct feedback.

Leadership Skill Guide | Definition and Examples | Matter
Leadership is leading, motivating, and inspiring your team. Learn what is leadership, examples, and how to improve it.

Reflect on how to use empathetic communication

Learning how to use empathetic communication is fundamental in developing and honing your leadership skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

What does being candid and considerate look like?

Exercises to help you use empathetic communication

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your leadership skills can allow you to use empathetic communication.

  • Practice effective body language when speaking to your team. Keep eye contact, lean in, and don’t interrupt. Show you’re personally invested through nonverbal communication.
  • Avoid accusations when giving feedback to your peers. Consider: “I noticed you haven’t completed your deliverables on time. Is there anything I can do to support you?”
  • Give your peer a couple of days to process your feedback. Afterward, check-in to see how they’re doing and if they want to have a follow-up conversation.

Additional resources to help you use empathetic communication

10 CEOs explain how to compassionately communicate from a distance
It’s possible to build rapport remotely. Find out what’s working for business leaders navigating this new territory.
Three Ways Great Leaders Show They Care About Their Team
Being a good leader means caring about the people you’re leading. Every leader must communicate that they care about their people. But caring is about actions, not just words.
What Your Coworkers Need Right Now Is Compassion
Not judgment.

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