“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.”–Oprah Winfrey
When I joined my current workplace, the one person I admired the most was my boss. His work ethic is impeccable, is extremely passionate about his work, is polite with his peers and subordinates and has a vast knowledge on any topic. But my admiration for him didn’t take time to turn to loathing the moment I encountered a part of his personality that shocked me to the core. He lacks empathy. Now, sympathy and empathy are two emotions that are extremely crucial to judge a human being’s personality. Most of us are sympathetic and disguise that as empathy. If you are sympathetic, you would listen to someone’s troubles, try to console the person and leave it to that. But if your empathetic, you will imagine yourself in that person’s shoes, lend a helping hand and try to work out on a solution.
My house is almost 56 kms from my workplace. I’ll not even discuss the part where my organisation is gas lighting us into coming to office just because they don’t consider work from home as an effective means of working (the pandemic can’t be used as a reasonable excuse here). It takes 8 hrs each day to travel from my house to my office to do the same work that I can complete in few hours at home. I’m grateful to go through this ordeal only twice a week but the sadist reason behind making the employees suffer in the name of employment is infuriating.
The best way to identify a true leader from a boss is the presence of empathy. In the scenario I explained above, a true leader would have understood the employees troubles, made genuine attempts to listen to their concerns and make an informed decision which favors everyone and keeps the company operations smooth. Instead, my organisation devices new ways each day to make their employees more frustrated and angry. They don’t understand the severity of the situation and make no attempt to do so.
I’m trying to sail through this situation by focusing on being happy and positive to the best of my ability. I wish and have an ardent hope to get out of this mess soon. I don’t know when that would happen but I do know I’ll be much stronger in my actions, thoughts and grit by then. As they say, every dog has it’s day. I’m waiting for my day to arrive sooner than I can imagine. The world can be a scary place sometimes, we can make it better by being empathetic, kind and humble towards one and another. The people helming the decisions at my workplace lack all 3 of these crucial emotions. I pray for their well being when each of the dogs they’ve bruised has it’s day.