Empathetic Leaders Result in More Engaged, Creative Employees

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Sometimes, you just want your boss to say, “I hear you.” This desire is not based on one’s personality, as many people might think. Studies have shown that human brains are, in fact, hardwired for empathy. Research done by University of Virginia psychologist James A. Coan using MRIs to measure subject reactions to threats to themselves, as well as friends and strangers, showed that people were empathetic to friends. Coan concludes that humans need to have friends and allies they can side with and see as being the same as themselves. The need for empathy has never been more important, given the many forms of stress that employees are now under. A recent study from Catalyst found that company leaders who show empathy help drive both employee engagement and innovation.

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