Very important, according to one solid study on the topic.
The research, from DDI, found that empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) is a “critical driver of overall performance” for management.
In the study, “listening and responding with empathy” was highly correlated with key management skills including coaching, engaging, and making sound decisions, as well as overall performance.
Despite this importance, the study also concluded that only “40% of frontline leaders” were “proficient or strong in empathy.”
In short, there was a substantive gap between a valuable management attribute and the common possession of that attribute.
Continue reading this article on Forbes.