Do you have a definition of a super power in your working place? You may have words like powerful, influential, and inspirational but not empathetic. Most people overlook empathy in the workplace yet it is a skill. An empathetic person will be aware of his own concerns, needs, and feelings and those of other people. You can avoid conflicts, misunderstandings and poor morale as long as you are empathetic. This attribute can assist you to build long lasting and significant relationships with other people. It is therefore a key ingredient to both professional and personal success.
Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
Most people believe that sympathy and empathy mean the same thing but they mean very different things. The term empathy refers to the ability to understand the experiences, emotions, and thought of another person. It is like stepping into their shoes while sympathy will provoke feelings of sorrow and pity. An empathetic person will be considerate of the needs of other people and be aware of their feelings.
How to Develop Empathy in the Workplace
The secret to achieve this objective is paying attention. In most instances, we fail to put the feelings of other people into consideration because we have preoccupied our minds with our personal thoughts. Such a mindset can lead to conflict and misunderstanding among the team members and this can create a pressured and toxic environment.
Therefore, you need to take the time to understand the feelings of other people before you judge them. Don’t take the sentiments of your colleagues at the face value but also think about what they are saying and how they say it. Look at the pace of speech, gestures, and expressions that form part of the communication process. You will be able to recognize and respond in a more effective way once you are aware of the non-verbal clues and reflect on what the other person is saying.
The second point is that you should be willing to listen. You need to go beyond observation if you want to be empathetic. Most business leaders want their employees to have team working skills, people skills and strong and effective communication. You cannot achieve all these skills unless you are an excellent listener. You need to listen to the quarries of your colleagues whether they are seeking some advice or pitching an idea. This will increase collaboration among the team members and create a working network that is supportive. An empathetic person will shift focus from his personal ambitions and assist other people to achieve their career development in order to make the company to grow.
Another thing is that you must remember the vision of the company. Empathy is among the most important drivers of the performance of your employees. It depends on how much you share the vision of the company with your employees. The workers will feel to be part of the network and this develops a more dynamic workforce that works towards the same goal. The employees can see the big picture and support the values of the organization if you allow them to participate in competitions, discuss current projects and even celebrate the success of the company. All you need is to develop a collaborative and positive company culture.
Why Is Empathy Important in the Workplace?
Most employees believe that the primary reason for the existence of a firm is to make profit. In fact, they think that the company does not care about its employees. Therefore, most employees believe that the workplace is an emotionless, high-pressured and demanding environment that only seeks financial gain at the expense of the employees. This perception can be very harmful to the vision of the organization, reduce employee morale, and diminish the productivity of the team.
Any organization cannot succeed without people. Therefore, the culture you develop can either hinder or support the success of your organization. You can generate a more productive, respectful and positive work environment by being empathetic. You