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The Best Leaders Are Empathetic Leaders

Updated: Oct 19, 2019

Can you remember the incident that took place on a United Airlines flight in 2017 where Dr. Dao was dragged off the plane, blood running from his mouth and mumbling “just kill me.”


Many accuse United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz of lacking empathy towards Dr. Dao in his response after the incident calling the passenger disruptive' and 'belligerent' which sparked a public campaign to boycott United Airlines. Munoz subsequently change his tone and issue an apology to Dr. Dao. However, nothing changed at United because weeks later, a United gate agent refuses to allow two young girls to board a plane because their leggings didn’t adhere to the airline’s dress code for “pass travelers and just last year, a flight attendant insisted on putting a dog in an overhead bin because its carrier wouldn’t fit under the seat and assured the dog’s owner that it would be fine up there. The dog was found dead upon arrival at the destination.


To continually inspire your people to perform at their optimum best you must understand the perspectives of your people, and you must give them the respect they deserve which is reflected in the service provided to their customers; empathy allow you to achieve this and as a result, the most critical skill leaders needs today is empathy and the best leaders are empathetic leaders according to Lolly Daskal.


However many people today believe that leaders who are emphatic are weak, and for some reason they believe that this “soft Skill” is a nonessential variable that adds no value to their leadership and by extension their organization when all the studies have link empathy to superior business results according to Bruna Martinuzz.  


“Can you teach someone to be empathetic?” We all know some people who are naturally and consistently empathetic – these are the people who can easily forge positive connections with others according