(905) 760-0111 OR (877) 680-0200

A little bit of empathy never hurt anyone; in fact, it has a hugely positive impact on employees and employers. According to a recent article from the Canadian HR Reporter, “…having leaders show more empathy would make a positive difference in their work life. This includes improving their job satisfaction (52 per cent), improving their job performance (39 per cent), increasing their productivity (37 per cent), improving mental health/levels of burnout (48 per cent) and making them more loyal (41 per cent).

The good news is that empathy isn’t just inborn, it’s a skill that can be developed and improved on over time. For leaders to be good leaders, they need to constantly be learning new things and putting those things into practise; Understanding different personalities and how to empathize with them in different ways, is a valuable skill for any leader. Personality Dimensions® makes it easy to lean and remember by categorizing (but not pigeonholing) personalities into four groups: Organized Gold, Resourceful Orange, Inquiring Green, and Authentic Blue. By understanding what is important to people, leaders can be better at what they do.  What does that look like?

Organized Golds are practical, loyal, and dependable people who value stability and tradition. They tend to prefer routine and structure in their work and personal lives. As a leader, empathizing with Organized Golds means acknowledging their need for stability and recognizing their diligent work ethic.

If you have an Organized Gold team member who is resistant to change, instead of pushing for rapid changes, you could emphasize the importance of maintaining stability while gradually introducing changes in a structured manner. Show appreciation for their reliability and commitment to established processes.

For Introverted Organized Golds, providing opportunities for private discussions and actively listening to their concerns can help them feel valued and understood. Extraverted Organized Golds, on the other hand, prefer things like regular team meetings and public praise to motivate them.

Resourceful Oranges are spontaneous, adaptable, and action-oriented people who enjoy living in the moment and seeking new experiences. They thrive on excitement and creativity, often bringing innovation to their work. Empathizing with Resourceful Oranges involves recognizing their need for freedom and variety.

With Resourceful Orange team members who prefer to tackle tasks in a hands-on, experimental way rather than following a strict procedure, provide them with the autonomy to explore different approaches and express their creativity.

Giving Introverted Resourceful Oranges the space they need to work independently, so they can be creative and productive, is a must. But that needs to be balanced with the needs of Extraverted Resourceful Oranges who value things like team workshops and group projects that allow them to showcase their innovative ideas.

Inquiring Greens are analytical, logical, and strategic thinkers who excel at problem-solving and abstract reasoning. They value competence and efficiency, often looking at ways they can improve systems and processes. Empathizing with Inquiring Greens involves respecting their knowledge and experience, and providing opportunities for new challenges.

If you have an Inquiring Green team member who enjoys analyzing things and finding new solutions, involve them in decision-making processes where their expertise can shine. Seek their input on strategic initiatives and value their insights.

Introverted Inquiring Greens really appreciate time to delve deeply into complex problems without interruptions. They need to be given time and space, and be trusted that they will come to you when they have something to share. Contrast this with Extraverted Inquiring Greens are natural debaters; as a leader it’s important to encourage open dialogue, and create an environment where exchanging ideas is valued.

Authentic Blues are compassionate, visionary, and naturally empathetic people who strive for personal growth and meaningful connections with others. They are driven by their values and aspirations, wanting to make a positive difference in the world. Empathizing with Authentic Blues involves understanding their idealistic outlook and supporting their personal development.

When an Authentic Blue team member is passionate about a particular cause or project, take the time to listen to their vision and offer your support in realizing their goals. Acknowledge their contributions to the team’s shared values and purpose.

Introverted Authentic Blues like opportunities for introspection and self-reflection. One-on-one coaching sessions, go a long way to help them align their personal values with their work. For Extraverted Authentic Blues Facilitate team-building activities and volunteer opportunities that allow them to connect with like-minded individuals and contribute to meaningful causes.

Making empathy a priority for leadership not only benefits employees but also makes organizations thrive. The ability to empathize with different personalities is a skill that can grow over time, with a little bit of work. By understanding and acknowledging what people value—whether they are a practical Organized Gold, spontaneous Resourceful Orange, analytical Inquiring Greens, or compassionate Authentic Blue—leaders can create a work environment that promotes productivity, satisfaction, and loyalty. Embracing empathy as a guiding principle empowers leaders to effectively support their team members’ growth and success, leading to positive outcomes for both individuals and the organization.

Ready to take your leadership skills to the next level?

Dive deeper into understanding personality dynamics and enhancing your empathetic leadership approach by enrolling in Personality Dimensions® certification training. Gain valuable insights into how different personalities operate and learn practical strategies to leverage this knowledge in your leadership role. Alternatively, consider bringing in a qualified Personality Dimensions® facilitator to conduct a workshop for you and your team. Empower yourself and your employees to create a more harmonious and productive work environment by embracing empathy and personality awareness. Take the first step towards becoming a more effective and empathetic leader today!

Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Associate Director at CLSR Inc.  He was thrown into the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.