With Valentine’s Day bringing up thoughts of relationships, we thought it was the perfect time to share how to foster more harmonious relationships in the workplace. And one of the most effective ways to have better relationships at work? Empathy.
Do you think of yourself as an empathetic person?
Have you ever thought about what empathy might mean for you professionally? For your organization?
Three-quarters of leaders feel their organization is empathetic. At the same time, 85% of employees feel the exact opposite way.
This “Empathy Gap” is hardly a coincidence when it comes to the issues of office tension, employee engagement, and retention.
Empathy is the antidote to disengagement at work.
So, if we all need to be more empathetic to foster a more harmonious and productive work-life, what actions need to be taken?
I made a quick list for you below. Let me know what you think:
4 KEY WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR EMPATHY SKILLS:
In a conversation, listening starts with minimizing your distractions (so please, no texting.) Putting your phone away and making direct eye contact will go a long way toward improving your concentration level. When you listen, you can truly hear what’s being said. Focus there first rather than thinking about what you want to say.
Showing you acknowledge the other person can be as simple as giving nonverbal body cues like nodding.
Repeat back what people are saying to you. You can also try saying things like, “I hear you” or “I understand what you’re saying” to communicate that you have compassion for the other person.
4. ASK QUESTIONS TO CLARIFY.
After they’re done speaking, asking questions to clarify what they’re communicating shows you are invested in the conversation. You can also offer to help with whatever the other person is experiencing.
Your empathetic business consultant,
Theresa Valade, CEO