Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Cultivating Empathy In The Workplace.

The capacity to understand another person’s point of view and/or identify with it, is what is known as empathy. The inclusion of empathy in an organization’s interpersonal relationships will see employees in better moods which will in turn increase efficiency and productivity and the wholesome success of the organization.

Empathy has always been a factor to consider in the workplace but with the recent increase in remote work, the cultivation of this singular trait has never been more crucial. Team leaders, members, supervisors, HR officers and generally every personnel in an organization will do well to prioritize this trait.

Consistent communication.

Empathy can be exercised through the simplest and most basic means; interaction. Genuine intentional interactions tend to evoke empathy.

Making consistent check-ups on colleagues about their day, a task they are on, creative blocks that they’ve encountered come in here. The most important part though, is to make sure it is a two-way street, leave room for answers and listen earnestly as you have inquired genuinely.

Employ Reflective Listening as you actively listen, this shows that you pay attention. In essence, it involves paraphrasing the statement of the other party to send across the notion that you’re attentive.

It is equally important to carry with you the five magic words in dealings with employees; I’m sorry, Please, Pardon me, Excuse me and most importantly, Thank You.

When you use these words either to query, understand or appreciate an employee, you will discover that since they know their efforts are acknowledged or appreciated they will be more committed to future tasks.

Utilize new innovations

One usual bone of contention is the mood of emails, texts or any type of correspondence. However, resources like “mpathic” and “grammarly” have built systems that help humans communicate more empathetically using real-time text corrections. With this innovation, emails, texts and any form of correspondence can be reviewed, and changes suggested before the “send” button.

Transparency

Accepting a fault is probably the most empathetic thing you can do. When you admit your wrongs and take actions that right things, you in other words show that you’re accommodating and colleagues can confide in you.

This is even more important on the side of team leaders and supervisors, if people see that you’re transparent with them, they’ll be more likely to be the same. Colleagues and employees alike will feel encouraged to talk about their obstacles or if their workload is too much for them.

Conflict Management

Conflict is unavoidable in an organization and if empathy is not applied, situations are likely to escalate. Human psychology reveals that people in “hot” moods i.e moods inspired by anxiousness, fatigue, anger etc find it impossible to relate with people in calmer “cold” moods.

For example, if you are crucial to a project and you come in without enough sleep or with aggression from a personal crisis that has nothing to do with the project, you’ll find yourself relating with colleagues in that mood unconsciously. So do try to take a breather and regain composure.

When you acknowledge someone’s reservation it doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree, But learning to navigate through and resolve disagreements respectfully is an essential part of teamwork.

In conclusion, Empathy is a trait that needs work, don’t expect to immediately be an expert at expressing empathy. Constant and steady growth in productivity is assured when an organization makes conscious efforts to increase empathy in the workplace.

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