Leadership People Skills: When Tough Leaders Show Empathy

Leadership People Skills: Why do tough and gruff leaders easily show people empathy in the face of natural disasters?

Leadership People Skills: Image is a Heart & a Hammer

Leadership People Skills: Tough Leaders Embrace Empathy

Image licensed from Istock.


Picture Tough and Gruff Leaders. Their people skills are far from great. They tend to work on people instead of with people. Many people tolerate their non-empathetic style amid the hope of larger success. If their organizations succeed, people applaud these leaders despite their poor leadership people skills.

There is a down side to it however. These leaders also create resistance and divisive camps. They disengage others. Collaboration and teamwork suffer. Resentments percolate and impact the future. Their poor leadership people skills negatively effect the organization’s potential.


Now Picture a Natural Disaster & Human Catastrophe. These same leaders with poor people skills and generally little empathy surprise us with their show of compassion.


Why? And what can we learn about leadership people skills from it?


Tough & Gruff Leaders Show Empathy When …

  • The enormity of human suffering is clearly present.
  • Empathy and compassion is the only truly acceptable response.
  • They think others will clearly see their empathy as strength for others.

Leadership People Skills: The Lessons Learned From This

  • Empathy creates powerful bonds to success even when there isn’t severe suffering.
  • Empathy is always an acceptable response. It doesn’t mean agreement. It means: “You matter, we matter, this matters! Let’s work it out!”
  • Empathy builds deeper trust and connection through the confidence and strength it shows. It achieves far more than any hammer or proclamation.

Interestingly enough, once tough and gruff leaders show their empathetic side they are often seen as even stronger. We see depth and dimension we never saw before. It becomes clear they have more than a hammer in their tool kit. It builds trust and belief that they can lead in different ways in different situations.

So leaders, why not show your empathetic side sooner and more frequently? You become a buoy of inspiration, strength, and balance.

Your leadership people skills will connect, engage, inspire, and strengthen the will to collaborate and solve any problem. You will engage employees to greater commitment, less resistance to change, and maximum contribution. Want help? I’m here.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leadership Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize
Never Confuse Humility & Humiliation
People Skills: Empathize Before You Analyze

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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