Our recently featured article, along with my earlier blogs, on the importance of empathy and compassion as a leadership skill, have attracted the most agreement and comment of any we have published in the last couple of years.
A decade ago, such a notion would have been laughed out of court.
It is not hard, of course, to relate this change of thinking to today’s vastly changed business context. Years ago, managers’ top priority was keeping sales ahead of increasing competition, and rapidly rising costs. There was less time for compassion and empathy.
Now, increasing mental health issues caused by the pandemic, along with skills shortages that put pressure on everyone, there’s a much greater need for leaders to display compassion and empathy.
Nonetheless, few businesses I have spoken to recently have revised the criteria they use to recruit. With so many experiencing high levels of recruitment, people have just put former processes into motion, without taking the time to revise them. This could be counter-productive, leading to recruiting people who do not have the capabilities that they will need to draw on to be successful in the role.
It is not only leadership positions that need a rethink. Selection processes have often favoured extroverts and team players. With hybrid working clearly here to stay, are there now more roles for introverts and individual contributors? Are we doing enough to widen the talent pools we recruit from?
©Janice Caplan 2020