By Daniel Goleman, Author of FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence on LinkedIn
There are three kinds of empathy. First, cognitive, where you sense how the other person thinks about the world, which means you can put what you have to say in terms they will understand. Second, emotional, where you instantly resonate with how the person feels. And third, empathic concern, where you express the ways you care about the person by helping with what you sense they need.
The signs of a leadership empathy deficit in any or all of these varieties can best be detected by how a leader’s actions impact those he or she leads. Some of the common signs:
1. Directives or memos that make no sense to those receiving them are a sign that a boss does not understand how employees think about their world, and fails to tune in to the language that would make most sense to them. Another sign of low cognitive empathy: strategies, plans or goals that make little sense or seem off-point to those who are to execute them.