Teams want to work for empathetic leaders. Empathetic leadership requires perspective-taking, which is definitely a human quality.
In a recent business storytelling workshop for learning workers aged between 21 and 43, participants had to create crisis scenarios that asked for effective leadership skills. 6 teams came up with 6 different scenarios. Their fictitious team leaders demonstrated a more or less effective communication behaviour and managed to solve the crisis their team was facing.
When I asked workshop participants for which leader they’d want to work, all of them chose the most empathetic leader, a little bit to my surprise. Their favourite protagonist was extremely supportive and showed a gentle communication behaviour that we can hardly find in real life.
Workshop participants argued that working for such a team leader would be very motivating as it would take a lot of pressure off them, encourage them to develop their skills further, improve their relationships with other co-workers and even with customers, and simply be more productive at work. I suggest we conclude that relevant 21st-century organisations need to bring a new human-centered perspective to their business.