Updated: Aug 31, 2020
Empathy and Power are the classic behavioral antipodes. Higher one grows in the hierarchy, greater should ideally be the use of empathy & lesser the use of Power.
Successful leaders effectively use 👉 Cognitive Empathy (ability to understand another person's perspective), 👉Emotional Empathy (ability to understand another person's feelings) and 👉 Empathetic Concern (ability to sense what another person expects from the incumbent). In fact, the higher one grows, success is measured by the ability to get things done with lesser & lesser use of Power!
Unfortunately, this equation doesn't work. With growth in the hierarchy, increased use of Power & lesser use of Empathy is observed. Leadership fails and the enterprise experiences a cocktail of disconnection, disengagement & low morale.
Empirical studies have indicated that people bearing higher power generally suffer empathy deficiency. Power tends to influence changes in the way the brain works by virtue of which it stops reading peoples' emotions & loses its elasticity to adapt to the behaviours of other people. Day to day self-management ability gets impaired.
Thus begins the destructive downhill journey of the leader on its path to GAP -Gross Abuse of Power.
Humpty-Dumpty without Empathy falls!