Empathic Self-Directed Teams   2022 Latest Answers  

Research in self-directed teams shows that emergent team leaders tend to be the  

most empathic individuals, due to their ability to understand and address emotional  

needs of fellow team members. 26 Empathic leaders sense the emotions of the team  

and are compelled to act accordingly which can in turn enhance support, cohesion,  

and team participation.  

I had the privilege to see empathic leadership in action observing a board meeting of an educational organization in the UK. Directors and affiliates arranged their  

chairs in a circle and started by meditating on the outcome of the meeting. They  

then started discussing their projects, the challenges they faced, what was going  

well, and what wasn’t going so well. The discussion seemed honest and every person was speaking without trying to project a highly effective persona—as happens  

in most board meetings I have observed. As an observer (I was asked to sit in the  

circle with everyone and was encouraged to participate), I could not distinguish  

who was a director and who an affiliate. T