Empathy enables a person to establish a connection with others and is necessary for mutual interaction and full comprehension of the experience. It is probably one of the most important aspects of being a leader in every situation. Without it, a person is virtually guaranteed to become out of touch with the environment, he or she is in. Without empathy, a leader cannot lead. Without empathy, a person cannot be in any type of mutually beneficial relationship. Without empathy, a person is basically asking to be completely alone in life.

Have you ever wished to be more empathetic in order to become a better leader? In order to have a better relationship with a friend, loved one or colleague?

There are many great and free resources about empathy available. Here are some great articles, posts and videos that talk about empathy and it's importance in leadership, parenting and relationships:

  1. 5 Tips for Empathetic Listening - Really a quick read from Stepcase Lifehack on the five simple steps one can use to be more empathetic.
  2. Are You Empathetic or Sympathetic? - A brief post by Robbie Miller Kaplan (author of the book "How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say") on how he words sympathy and empathy are often thought to be the same, and yet they are distinct expressions.
  3. Avoiding the Five Pitfalls to Becoming an Empathetic Listener - A very concise article about why more people are not better empathetic listeners.
  4. Being a Good Manager/Mom: Be Empathetic - Quick post from Sarah Rottenberg who describes it well by saying that a recent post got her "thinking about what I think it takes to be a good manager. And I think it’s simple: be empathetic."
  5. Empathetic Voice Improves Doctor-Patient Communication - Doctors who use an empathetic voice with patients can elicit more information about their health problems and encourage them to stick to their treatment regime, a Monash researcher has found.
  6. Empathetic Understanding and School Leadership Preparation - a paper written by Diane Ketelle and R. Pete Mesa, Mills College. Successful leaders seem to share one thing in common – empathy. The authors posit that empathic understanding is foundational to leadership.
  7. Empathy and Showing Empathy - Interesting article descibing the importance of empathy in leadership positions.
  8. Empathy is in Our Genes - a quick read from the Thaindian News website citing a few research studies on the topic.
  9. Empathetic Customer Service - a short article on how empathy played such an important role in the lasting of one of America's successful companies of it's day.
  10. Exercise in Creative Classroom Management - How to Become a More Empathetic Teacher – The title speaks for itself.
  11. Gandhi's Neurons: The Practice of Empathy – Article by Bruna Martinuzzi on
  12. How to be an Empathetic Listener – article on steps for being a better listener with empathy.
  13. How Empathetic are You? - Interesting article with a link to a test where one can determine their Empathy Quotient.
  14. How to Practice More Empathy in Your Business Management - Sometimes it's hard to be a business manager, especially when you are in difficult situations with your employees. One of the important things that you need to exercise in these difficult situations is empathy.
  15. How to Teach Your Kids to be Empathetic – A story post from the website “Effective Parenting” that gives a good example of the results of teaching empathy to a child.
  16. Make Empathetic Listening your Super Power - a very good article on being empathetic.
  17. Mirror Neurons – Video of discussing a recently discovered system in the brain that may help explain why we humans can get so worked up watching other people.
  18. Principles of Empathic Communication - From Leadership University, an itemized summary of "Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood" from Stephen Covey's "THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE”.
  19. Resilience: Compassion and Empathy - The quality of your relationships, and not the quantity of them, is what matters for you in terms of your emotional resilience. One of the attributes that differentiates people with higher quality relationships from people with lower quality relationships is their ability to be compassionate and empathetic.
  20. The Art of Empathetic Listening - an article by Gian Fiero, an educator, speaker and consultant who specializes in business development, career planning, and personal growth issues.
  21. The Benefits of Empathic Listening – an article with some good guidelines for understanding and being a empathic listener.
  22. The Caring Child: How to Teach Empathy – Good article of giving a child a head start in having the ability to be empathetic.
  23. Three Steps to Empathetic Listening - Oftentimes, people are too busy, they don't make the effort, or they simply don't know how to listen empathetically to others. And it is because of this that people have difficulty getting in touch with their feelings and they harbor negative emotions about others.
  24. What's Empathy Got to Do With It? - a very good article by describing empathy in detail along with ten leadership tips on being more empathetic.
  25. What is Empathy? How to be Empathetic – Very short and concise article by Gwendolyn Cuizon on empathy.

If you know of other good articles on the subject of empathy that you believe someone else needs to read or know about, share it with us in the comments below!

Author's Bio: 

Gil Pizano is an experienced leader and management professional and is currently part of the management group within the business intelligence segment of a major insurance company. He has an MBA from the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business along with a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Hartford's College of Engineering. He is also a life­long stu­dent of leadership.