University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 2021


Recreation and Park Administration


Recreation and Park Administration




Dr. Jon C. McChesney

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another individual. According to a recent study on the topic, empathy is a critical driver to overall performance, however research shows that most frontline leaders were not proficient or strong in empathy (Lipman 2018). Organizations are constantly searching for ways to improve their productivity, including richer organizational cultures that are shown to increase morale and employee retention (Crowley 2013). Many organizational leaders tend to focus on the short-term of getting results instead of understanding the positive long-term impacts from incorporating empathy within their working environment. Empathy is the key to restoring the human essence that is frequently lost within the mechanized workplace environment. In the recreational field, it is crucial to recognize that empathy is a critical piece of emotional intelligence that will help nurture relationships, maintain positive emotional bank accounts, and improve the overall efficiency within the workplace. The purpose of this research is to illuminate what it means to express empathy as a leader, provide guidance on how to become a proficient empathetic leader, and include methods on how to incorporate empathy as part of a healthy work culture. The research methods used were a literature review with a qualitative research component involving interviews with recreation professionals in leadership roles, successfully implementing empathy in their working environments.