Collaborative Leadership and Love

Catherine Gillespie in her article “Conflict Resolution Harmony Expert” states that ‘Principled Leadership’ required a leader to to clear with their values. The values that were crucial were:
-Group Wisdom
Gillespie wrote, ‘We need to manage with courage, consistency, persistence and love’.
The word ‘love’ is often an uncomfortable word amongst leaders. Can you imagine how many leaders would squirm if you required them to be a ‘Compassionate leader’? ‘Compassion’ means co-suffering and can be considered to be ‘feeling for another’ with warmth and care to ensure they receive help.
The article discusses the definition of being an ‘Empathic Leader’ as being able to understand what another person is experiencing and to understand this from the other person’s framework. They state that there are 3 types of empathy; cognitive, emotional and somatic. “Emotional empathy is feeling the same emotions as the other. An example of this is literally feeling the same excitement as a colleague when they have been given a promotion. Somatic empathy is defined as actually physically feeling someone else’s pain. For example if a colleague stubs their toe on the desk, you may also feel that physical pain as well. Cognitive empathy is having an intellectual understanding of the other person’s situation; being able to ‘see’ things from the other person’s perspective without attaching any emotion to the situation or feeling any emotion or pain.”
Being able to explore all 3 types of empathy is important for awareness raising and to allow leaders to make an informed and conscious choice about which type of empathy they are using. Their emphasis is on cognitive empathy, explaining what it is and why it is important that leaders draw on and apply this skill in the workplace.

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