As part of our Leading Women series, we want to highlight the professional challenges and career aspirations of the women we work with here in Asia.  

In this story, Sylvia Wong, Regional Finance Director at PageGroup, shares the most common assumption leaders make, the importance of empathy in these troubled times, as well as how her hometown shaped who she is as a leader today.  

Q: Why is empathy so important to you as a leader?  

Empathy is the ability to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel about things. Considering the unprecedented times, many people are going through different types of challenges, so I think, as leaders, we cannot assume that we know what others are going through. We need to consciously remind ourselves to make time, listen to the team and find out how they are doing. I feel that leaders who take the time to understand the needs of their employees are the ones who can provide the support they actually need, to press ahead and deal with the challenges they’re facing. In the past, leaders, including myself, tend to make assumptions. That’s why I need to make a conscious effort to ask them how they are feeling and what they need from me.  

This is an abridged version of the full interview with Sylvia Wong. For the full version of the interview, click here.  

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