Do you have the ability to identify and understand your team’s feelings or difficulties? (158-4)
Leaders must have empathy if they are to lead over the long haul. Read Jeremiah 4:19-26.
The people of Judah had broken their covenant with God and had rebelled against His leadership. Jeremiah had confronted the nation’s leaders and had foretold the consequences for their failure to change. He knew that if God had said it the prophecy would come true. He knew that the people would suffer. He knew they deserved to be disciplined for their actions. He knew the discipline was good for the nation and the people. Yet in verse 19 we see the agony in his heart for what lay ahead for the people.
Jeremiah empathized with the flaws of the people, and even though he had warned them of the coming judgment, his proclamation was not cold and sterile. He identified with the people’s coming suffering. This empathy allowed Jeremiah to lead in difficult situations over the long haul.
A leader’s empathic response to difficult circumstances for their team communicates volumes to those on the team. If a leader is around long enough, they will see that people will not hit every deadline, individuals will make mistakes that cost the organization money and time, team members will have interpersonal flaws that will require confrontation, and at times there will be outright defiance against cherished core values. All issues a leader must address and sometimes with firm corrective direction. Without empathy in the leadership, the corrective actions could generate negative attitudes, stress and tension in the work place and ultimately a high turnover rate. An empathic leader must deal with the difficult situations and at times will make crushing decisions but their heart allows them to demonstrate genuine concern for their teammates during the process.
Do you have the ability to identify and understand your team’s feelings or difficulties? Do you have compassion for your team even when delivering needed correction or discipline? It was Jeremiah’s gut wrenching response to the people’s coming suffering that explains why he could lead for such a long time under awful conditions. Leader’s who lead over the long haul truly care about their team.
Tags: Coming Judgment, Compassion for your team, Confrontation, Consequences for failure, Covenant with God, Defiance of core values, Disciplined for actions, Empathy, Identify with suffering, Interpersonal flaws, Lead over the long haul
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