How To Lead With Empathy


In our previous blog, we wrote about the WHYs of empathetic leadership. Why leading with empathy matters for you and your career, how it impacts your team, and why it’s important to your organization. In today’s piece, we want to explore the HOWs of empathetic leadership. To provide you with concrete tips, advice and recommendations for how you can become a more empathetic leader.


  1. Understand yourself. The path to leading with empathy starts with understanding yourself. Pay attention to how you interact with others, your communication style, your emotional reactions, your body language. Get beyond the surface to gain insights into where you are right now and what areas of your leadership skills might need further development. Psychometric assessments can provide a deeper understanding of your levels of emotional intelligence and empathy. Learn more about assessments here.
  2. Understand others. Put yourself in their shoes. Take the time to really get to know your team, and for them to get to know you. Have conversations about what concerns them, what motivates them, what drives them. Listen deeply. Be open to different perspectives. Ask for feedback, opinions, and recommendations. And share your own insights, reasoning, and feedback with your team. Once you and your team have a better understanding of each other, stay curious. Keep communications open. Continue to build and grow your relationship with them. Learn more about the importance of knowing your team here.
  3. Be humble and helpful. Put your team first and yourself last. Support, encourage, and develop your team members. Develop their confidence in themselves, in each other, and in you. Give them opportunities to grow. Celebrate their victories and encourage their input. Show compassion and understanding when setbacks happen. Foster an environment where your team can feel safe, secure, trusted, and valued. If you notice fractures within your team, work it out, or get help. Team coaching is a great way to discover, repair, or strengthen team unity and performance. Learn more about team coaching here.
  4. Cultivate a culture of empathy. Once you develop your own strengths of leading with empathy, pay it forward. Encourage your team members, especially those who lead others, to become empathetic leaders themselves. Cultivate the foundations of empathy across your organization: compassion, understanding, openness, trust, and gratitude. Consider investing in your organization’s leaders with a leadership development program. Developing your team can ensure they are better prepared to meet future challenges and opportunities. This can have a lasting impact on the culture and success of your organization. Learn more about leadership development here.

Empathy skills can be developed and enhanced through coaching, training, and leadership development initiatives. Catapult can help. Contact us today.


Watch: “How Leaders Can Demonstrate Empathy and Build Stronger Teams

Watch: “How to Lead with Empathy

Listen: The Empathetic Leadership Podcast

Listen: Empowering Employees Through Empathetic Leadership

Read: Empathetic Leadership Style

Read: How to Lead with Empathy: The New Era of Leadership

Return to all posts