Empathy is often seen as a key characteristic of managers and leaders. Yet, for such an important concept, empathy is underpinned by relatively underdeveloped evidence as to why it matters and how it comes about. In this study Empathy: the neglected superpower, Dr Ksenia Zheltoukhova has pulled together a review of the literature and explores the role empathy can play in our workplaces, from decision making through to the power of stories.
People can surprise us. I’d had a bad time at work, a long time ago, and was sharing my story with a male friend. We reminisced and laughed and drank a lot of red wine. “God, Laura” he said, “I feel so guilty about what’s happened to you, your story, it’s so awful” (note it wasn’t really awful, just mildly bad, the kind of boring sexism that most women experience in their working lives).