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The need for empathy in school leadership

Written by: Michael Taylor and Steve Lambert
10 min read
Michael Taylor, Professional Tutor, Liverpool Hope University, UK Steve Lambert, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, University of Chester, UK Introduction Hughes et al. (2005) state that empathy is an essential skill for leadership in any field. This paper reviews the literature on the importance of empathy by exploring the applications of benefits in other professions such as nursing, and transferrable lessons can be learned. For school leaders, having an emotionally intelligent understanding of what they need in order to perform successfully can also support how they manage their team to bring out the best in all team members. Finally, this paper aims to make recommendations for governing bodies and headteachers to identify what empathetic leadership might look like and how headteachers with the right empathy skills can be specified for future recruitment.  Measuring an individual’s ability to read the emotional state of colleagues or employees is a vital first

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