The Centre for Creative Leadership explores the topic of empathy in the workplace.
From the article:
Empathetic leadership means having the ability to understand the needs of others, and being aware of their feelings and thoughts. Unfortunately, it has long been a soft skill that’s overlooked as a performance indicator. Our research, however, has shown that today’s successful leaders must be more “person-focused” and able to work well with people from varying teams, departments, countries, cultures, and backgrounds.
As noted in our white paper, we found that empathy in the workplace is positively related to job performance.
In other words, managers who practice empathetic leadership toward direct reports are viewed as better performers in their jobs by their bosses. The findings were consistent across the sample: those managers who were rated as empathetic by subordinates were also rated as high performing by their own boss.
The article contains links to further research and very practical tips for leaders to improve their empathy skills.