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Leaders Should Empathise with their Followers

Leaders Should Empathise with their Followers-Dr. Dorothy Mensah-Aggrey

A senior lecturer at the University of Dayton, in the United States of America (USA), Dr. Dorothy Mensah-Aggrey, has called on leaders to empathise with their followers to ensure their holistic development.

Dr. Mensah-Aggrey said the application of emotional intelligence played a significant role in a leader’s ability to impact positively in the lives of his or her followers. She said a leader should be able to understand the emotions of their followers in order to help them overcome their fears and problems confronting them.                                                                                                                                                         

Dr. Mensah-Aggrey made this call when she gave a presentation on “Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence” at a workshop organised by the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) for Master of Education Sandwich Students at the College of Distance Education (CoDE) Conference Room.

The senior lecturer noted that as teachers, they were expected to serve as role models since their students looked up to them to make informed decisions for their progression in life. “As a teacher you’re a role model, whenever you step in any learning environment,  whether it is basic, second cycle or tertiary your interaction with them is what will trigger what they can see,"she stressed.

She said a leader should possess qualities like effective communication, motivation, team work, delegation and coaching with passion and empathy. “Leadership is ensuring the ladder is against the wall well,” she noted.

On the curriculum for educational institutions, Dr. Mensah-Aggrey said there was the need to evaluate the curriculum and figure out what was not working then make the necessary changes to reflect the realities of the time. She stressed that    “We may have to go back to the drawing board,  if something is not working, you cannot keep doing the same things every time and expect different results over again if it is not working”.

Explaining further, Dr. Mensah-Aggrey said “a transformational leader creates positive change in persons; shows interest in each other’s interests, motivates and creates moral within a group”. Making reference to Jack Mezirow's Transformational Learning Theory, she noted that "People develop and use critical self-reflection to consider their beliefs and experiences, and over time, change dysfunctional means of seeing the world".

The Director of IEPA, Dr. Michael Amakyi, said the workshop was aimed at equipping the students to acquire hands-on experience in the areas of research, academic writing and new trends in educational administration.