“Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person’s eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.” — Albert Einstein
When we talk about leadership and what skills leaders need to be better, empathy is among the most commonly discussed topics. However, we forget how patience goes hand-in-hand with empathy and vice versa. Rarely can we exercise one without the other, and leaders need both to be effective.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand how others feel and to see the world from their perspective. Patience, on the other hand, is often associated with time, and the ability to wait, but it goes beyond that–it is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
Whether in business, with our families, or even with ourselves, a lot of things take time and effort before we can reap the fruits of our labor and see the results of our work. And we all need patience, empathy, and compassion while we strive to achieve our goals. There will be several challenges along the way, and it will be frustrating, but these two social skills allow us to push on.
What happens when we do have patience and empathy? We are able to build deeper and stronger bonds with others, and we achieve mutual respect. Everyone goes through different things at different times, and it takes a lot of emotional intelligence and maturity to be kind when things are frustrating.
Empathy and patience also give us room to grow and learn, which in turn increases productivity, inspires passion, improves proficiency, and overall effectiveness. These are all crucial things for success and growth.
As leaders, we take the helm in overcoming failures, and both empathy and patience work hand-in-hand to give us the freedom to fail forward and learn from mistakes. It gives us the much-needed courage to face problems head-on and not quit. And when others are patient and empathetic with us, it encourages us to rise from the drawback and not feel “less than.”
Both skills inspire positivity and even excitement to tackle a challenge, but they also teach us proper timing and tact when handling other people and situations, especially during times of conflict.
And when we’ve mastered the art of leading with empathy and patience, it stretches us as individuals. It broadens our perspective, and it helps us help the people we lead–be it our employees, our kids, or our families - to grow. It allows us to move forward with purpose and kindness.
Plus, it makes our relationships stronger and better: forged through trust, respect, and compassion.
Take a second to ask yourself: How did I treat others today? Did I treat them with empathy and patience, or was I short with anyone? How can I be better tomorrow?
And remember to treat yourself with compassion and patience too.
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.