Empathy in Your Workplace

Empathy in Your Workplace

“You can never understand someone unless you understand their point of view, climb in that person’s skin, or stand and walk in that person’s shoes.” Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird 

It has been technically proven that empathy plays a positive role in effective leadership, productivity and progressive outcomes. Lacking any sense of empathy, people inside companies struggle to make intuitive decisions and often get fooled into believing they understand their business if they have quantitative research to rely upon.

The real opportunity for companies doing business in the 21st Century is create a widely held sense of empathy for customers, pointing to Nike, Harley-Davidson, and IBM as examples. They see new opportunities more quickly than competitors, adapt to change more easily, and create workplaces that offer employees a greater sense of mission in their jobs.

Non-violent communication is an effective mechanism for achieving the value of bringing empathy into the workplace. Empathy is the strongest predictor of ethical leadership.  

To be empathic, you have to think beyond yourself and your own concerns. Once you see beyond your own world, you'll realise that there's so much to discover and appreciate! Remind yourself that the world is full of other people, and you can't escape their influence on your life. It's far better to accept this, and to decide to build relationships and understanding, rather than try to stand alone all of the time.  

Understand the Needs of Your Team Empathy in the workplace promotes great workplace culture. It means that leaders have the ability to understand the needs of their team and care enough to be sensitive to the feelings of others. Talent will always appreciate this...  

Listen When you are empathic of talent who are worn-out, you listen to their point of view. You share their emotions and provide specific steps that can help overcome the pressure and stress of work. You engage yourself as their leader by simply listening. Listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your instincts. Listen with your heart.  

Be Attentive Being attentive to the personal problems of your team signifies that you are one of them. Empathising comes when you as a leader assures your team members that you have your own or similarly-situated circumstances and you part practicalities to resolve them so as not to affect work.  

Put aside your viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person's point of view. When you do this, you'll realise that other people most likely aren't being evil, unkind, stubborn, or unreasonable – they're probably just reacting to the situation with the knowledge they have.  

Walk by Them When you walk in a person’s shoes when someone experiences a loss, you outperform yourself as a leader and do more than lead. You project compassion.  

As much as possible, talk to them in person. Do not send your sympathies by email. Or calling them by phone. If it can be helped, send flowers. Or visit the family if your schedule allows. Showing that you care goes a long way.  

Encourage Open Communication Ask personal questions without prying. Show interest in them. Demonstrate kindliness that would ripple from one member to another. You can be assured that by simply being thoughtful and accepting more than being their boss can move a mountain and inspire your team to outshine and attain what are expected of them.  

A simple demonstration of empathy can go means more than words can say. Start now.  

Developing an empathic approach is perhaps the most significant effort you can make toward improving your people skills. When you understand others, they'll probably want to understand you – and this is how you can start to build cooperation, collaboration, and most importantly, teamwork. 

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