Article (March-2017)


Do you have empathy and compassion?

Viral Das

Designation : -   Officer

Organization : -  LUPIN LIMITED, Vadodara


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Leadership and Communication are not a new terms for the people working in the corporate world or for that matter any other organization. Many of us must have attended the seminars and workshops on these subjects and have undergone the various training sessions on the same. Along with the experience, one has to get the quality of leadership sharpen to not only scale higher position in the organization's ladder but to be a sensitive role model in the organization, society and family at large. Some people are born leaders and some imbibe & inculcate leadership qualities by consciously dealing with people, situation and challenges.

As we all know that leader is someone who always inspires, motivates and influences people, subordinates and colleagues by guiding them in proper direction, being transparent, helping in needs, facilitating to learn. In short, he should be a role model, but ironically in most of the cases we found the leaders/superiors/bosses are arrogant, insensitive, aggressive and over demanding. Working with such bosses or leader becomes challenge for the subordinates or down-line people. In such case, an employee either leaves the job or gets sucked into the culture of adulation to win favor of his/her boss. Gradually, this practice itself becomes the culture of that organization. This culture, then moves from upward to downward and impact each level of the hierarchy in the organization and finally the overall culture of the organization get adversely affected.

Sometimes, leader wants the objectives of either personal or of the organization's to be fulfilled at any cost and doing so he seldom pays attention to others wants needs and desires. They simply believe controlling people by threatening, scolding and shouting on them is the only way forward to get the work done. Fine, sometime it works and he/she may get the expected result and may achieve the desirable objectives by controlling and coercing people but it won't sustain for long. A leader has to understand that he is working with human-beings who have feelings, aspirations, goals, expectations and desires to grow and evolve. Leaders must also realize and understand that by just becoming a leader, boss or employer doesn't mean that he/she is supreme power or authority entitled to treat the subordinates with humiliations and threat. Leadership is not about being superiorbut being part team and one of them. "Do to others what you would have them do to you". This maxim is derived from the bible best fits as the example of servant leadership. Leader must serve first if he wants other to serve him which is called servant leadership. Servant leadership means desire to serve. To serve means to help, guide and facilitate subordinate and colleagues to grow and develop. To serve means to appreciate and acknowledge people for their contribution. One of the best characteristic of a good leader is that he always uses the strategy of "Praise in public, correct (criticize) in private!" this is very important to boost up the efficiency and confidence of the employees and motivate them to achieve the organizational goal. Robert C. Liden and his colleagues identified nine dimensions of servant leadership that they used in their research: emotional healing, creating value for the community, conceptual skills, empowering, helping subordinates grow and succeed, putting subordinates first, behaving ethically, relationships, and servant hood. Dirk van Dierendonck reviewed the scholarly literature and identified six key characteristics of servant-leader behavior: empowering and developing people, humility, authenticity, interpersonal acceptance, providing direction, and stewardship.

The following axiom profoundly underlines it: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Strong, effective leaders stress fundamentals like discipline, accountability, strategic alignment, managing to his or her values and empowering employees. These leaders are also an expert in these six crucial functions like leading, planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and communicating. But it is communication a very important key which keep so ther functions integrated and works effectively.

A leader is best known by his style of communication. What and how he is communicating through verbal and written communication matters a lot. Communication plays key role in image building, so clear, genuine and assertive communication is very necessary for a good leader. Make sure that communication must be two way; let your subordinate or colleague have freedom to get agree or disagree with you. Let them have a right to speak, put forth their opinion/point or deny the ideas if he is not agreeing with it. Open dialogs with those who confront you, challenge you, stretch you, and develop you. If employees are not allowed to speak, share or their opinion is not being considered/given due space then he/she would never contribute in terms of ideas, opinions and sharing. In such case, this quote is self-explanatory of such kind of leadership practice, "Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say"- Andy Stanley.

If a leader is sensitive, sensible and practicing servant leadership then it is possible to bring the culture in the organization where people can share, care and work passionately, fearlessly and confidently with a complete team spirit. Perhaps, it sounds old and outdated but love, compassion and empathy are the core values a leader must possess to manage self, people and organization at large through the power of these core values one can get the work done from anybody without using the coercion, threat and humiliation.

Let your people approach you fearlessly and let them know that you are there to lead from the front, guide, help, assist, shoulder the responsibility and lend a patient ear to them. So be a leader of hearts and not masses, be a people-oriented and not just result oriented.